Barratt Homes has highlighted its pledge to support ex-servicemen and women with the appointment of Lewis Cunningham to its ex forces careers programme.
Lewis, from Waterlooville, will initially be based at the company’s Berewood Green site, where 219 new homes are being built for the community.
Barratt Homes is wellknown for supporting the forces community. It actively encourages exarmed forces personnel to apply for roles and runs its Trainee Assistant Site Manager Programme for the Armed Forces, which has been specially designed to help former forces personnel qualify as assistant site managers.
Lewis, 30, has lived in Portsmouth all his life and signed up for the Army at 18. He said: “My role in the Army involved a lot of travel. Being a tank crewman it meant I was constantly being posted abroad and, when I wasn’t overseas, I’d often be away training. It was amazing while I was young and I got to see so many parts of the world but when I came to start a family it wasn’t right for me.
“When my eldest son was born I missed the first few months of his life and that was really difficult as a dad. When my second was due I realised I wanted a career that would give me more time with my family and decided to leave the Army when the opportunity arose.”
Lewis, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan during his time with the 2nd Tank Regiment, first got a job as a phone and broadband engineer but found the nature of the job was somewhat isolating. “It was great to be back home but the majority of the work was out on the road on my own,” he said. “Coming from the Army, I missed the camaraderie of being part of a team.”
The Portsmouth FC fan stumbled across Barratt Homes’ ex forces scheme on LinkedIn. Lewis said: “I never thought construction was something I could get into at my age. I figured no-one would look twice at my application if I didn’t have some sort of construction qualification or at least on-site experience.
“Barratt was brilliant. They focus much more on the qualities you have and your potential rather than what qualifications you have already. I think there are lots of qualities you develop in the forces that translate well to site management and housebuilding. You have discipline, teamwork, leadership.”
Lewis only started with Barratt Homes at the start of October but he’s already enjoying being part of a team again. “The guys on site are brilliant and they’re really supportive.”
He’s also enjoying spending more time with his family. “I can walk to work every day which is brilliant. I get that extra bit of time with the boys every morning and every evening.”
Tim Hill, managing director of Barratt Homes, said: “We’re thrilled to have Lewis on the team and glad to hear he’s enjoying the camaraderie that you get from being part of a team on-site.
“We actively encourage former armed service personnel to join us because they tend to have strong leadership and management skills, as well as an ability to think outside the box, work under pressure and maintain the very highest of standards. They’re all the attributes that make a top site or project manager.”
To find out more about Barratt Homes’ training schemes visit: www.barrattdevelopments.co.uk/careers