Supporting ex-service personnel into new careers | Wates

Supporting ex-service personnel into new careers

Wates’ support not only includes the construction of specialist facilities for the armed forces, but also career support and opportunities for service leavers.

Gary Wilkinson was a Sergeant Major in the British Army before joining the construction industry and is currently a regional managing director for Wates Living Space, where he oversees the maintenance of hundreds of thousands of homes in the social housing sector.

He is one of a number of former services personnel, who are using their experience from serving in the Armed Forces, together with their industry experience, to help provide career guidance and opportunities for service leavers who are looking to transition from the services to work in construction, facilities management or housing maintenance.

Gary Wilkinson, Regional Managing Director, Wates Living Space
Gary Wilkinson, Regional Managing Director, Wates Living Space
Gary Wilkinson, Regional Managing Director of Wates Living Space, works with BuildForce and Project Recce organisations committed to supporting soldiers, sailors and airmen and women transition into civilian working careers. Find out more about the work he does to advise and support these organisations below.


Through BuildForce  I give one to one mentoring to people who have left the forces, advising them on everything from how they approach work, to the behaviours expected and practical advice on being successful within the industry.

Recently I joined my colleague John Dunne – who’s ex-Royal Navy – as  a speaker at BuildForce’s conference in Manchester. This was aimed at giving people an insight into our industry and opening their eyes to the possibilities which are available for them on Civvy Street.


Find out more about our partnership with Buildforce
BuildForce helps Armed Forces personnel to make decisions about their future careers.

Project Reece

I’m also involved with Project Recce, a charity funded by the construction industry, which runs courses for service leavers who may be looking to join the sector.

I recently supported a course for 15 students, where I advised  them about our business, Wates; the construction industry; qualifications needed; behaviours and tips for transitioning out of a challenging work environment within the military to a civilian-based role.

"I’m proud to be involved in these two great organisations and find it personally very rewarding. We believe in ‘giving something back’ to those brave and exceptional military personnel who have the potential to be future industry staff. People of this calibre can only benefit our industry."
Gary Wilkinson
Regional Managing Director, Wates Living Space

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