Former Fakenham military brothers build careers in constructions

Luke (L) and Chrissie (R) Matthews at Northstowe.

Luke (L) and Chrissie (R) Matthews at Northstowe. - Credit: Steve Baker

Two brothers from Fakenham are building new careers in construction with a programme specifically developed for training ex-military personnel.

Luke and Chrissie Matthews have both taken on construction-based roles with Barratt and David Wilson Homes within the Cambridgeshire division, and are transferring the skills they developed in the forces with the armed forces transition programme.

The course provides all the training and support required to work towards becoming a qualified assistant site manager in approximately 12 months. It uses skills formerly gathered in the armed forces which can apply to construction, making it a comfortable transition for ex-servicemen and women.

Luke (L) and Chrissie (R) Matthews out on site

Luke (L) and Chrissie (R) Matthews out on site - Credit: Steve Baker

Luke, aged 26, is a trainee assistant site manager, is currently completing the programme at Barratt Homes’ brand new Swaffham development, Ceres Rise.

The Fakenham-based ex-Lance Corporal served in the Army, Blues and Royals for more than eight years and was attracted to this by his brother, Chrissie, who completed the course and is now working as an assistant site manager at David Wilson Homes’ Northstowe development near Cambridge.

Luke said: “The programme I’m doing is great because it’s helping someone like me, just an average guy, develop my knowledge and pursue a new career path.

“Managing time and people and working as a team have been great skills I’ve been able to transfer into my new role and Chrissie has been proof that people from the forces can go onto succeed in construction.”

Chrissie (L) and Luke (R) walking around a development.

Chrissie (L) and Luke (R) walking around a development. - Credit: Steve Baker

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Chrissie, aged 36, was attracted to the industry due to the fact it offered him a structured career with lots of opportunities for progression after serving in the Royal Engineers as a Sergeant.

He said: “My favourite part of the job is the planning and programming of the build. I enjoy being in constant communication with everyone out on site and seeing the build develop at a quick pace. The job requires problem solving at a fast pace, and no two days are ever the same.

“The teamwork is very similar to the military which has made the transition a lot easier for myself.

“I would highly recommend the programme to anyone that is thinking about doing it.”