Transitioning from Military Service to Self Employment - Meet David Hawkins

A Veteran's Journey into Property Maintenance and Self employmenr

David left the service as a Flight Lieutenant and was interested in getting into property maintenance/development. He owns two houses, one of which is on Air BnB and the other is rented. He renovated the Air BnB in Colchester when the previous tenants moved out two years ago and he thoroughly enjoyed working on it, therefore he was interested in adding value to his other property.

He heard about Building Heroes through word of mouth from his colleagues in his last RAF unit, JHSS, and the Army Reserve who had completed the course.

David said: "Prior to starting the course I was keen to complete as many courses as possible to become a self-employed handy man in the short-term, which will provide sufficient income to complete the Electrician Level 2 and 3 NVQs and get the JIB Gold Card in 2024. Joinery and plastering are the Building Heroes construction course areas I am most interested in ‘on the tools’, as they will complement the CTP domestic electrical installation and Keytek locksmith courses I am doing next."

During the course, David found the carpentry skills very useful, in particular making the joints, door hanging, and lock fitting as he will be using these skills a lot as a potential locksmith following completion of the Keytek Level 3 diploma. This course gave David the confidence to complete a variety of maintenance and property development tasks.

In addition , following a referral from our Centre Coordinator, Jason Renshaw, we are delighted to announce that David is joining Sharps Bedrooms as a fitter in the New Year, starting on the 8th of January 2024.

David said: "This is a great step for me on my journey into a career in construction and over the next five years I would like to further development my construction management knowledge by completing NEBOSH, APM PMQ, SMSTS, and surveyor/assessor courses etc., to give me the option of potentially working as a site manager/project manager on large construction projects."

David mentioned that the founder, Brendan Williams gave a presentation during his course about Building Heroes Property Services, the sister organisation to BHEF that provides self employment pathways into Property Maintenance across England and Wales. Brendan advised that David might be able to act as the Oxfordshire territorial lead due to the property maintenance skills that he is developing and his leadership experience from serving as an officer in the military. David also wants to give back to Building Heroes and Brendan advised that there were no Building Heroes alumni in Oxfordshire but lots of work, and he is confident that he would be able to recruit veterans in the area and successfully manage them.

Overall, David has had a fantastic journey with Building Heroes and is looking to give back to the charity and continue supporting them in his future.

Good luck, David!

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