Building Heroes

Welcome to Building HeroesAbout the CourseCourse BreakdownBuilding Heroes at Colchester InstituteIn the WorkshopGraduationApply/ContactTestimonialsConnect with Building Heroes

About the Course

Building Heroes provides skills training to military service leavers and veterans, with support into employment in the building or engineering trades. Its aim is to tackle unemployment amongst those who have kept us safe by offering them a seamless transition into a new career.

To date, Building Heroes has graduated over 1,000 veterans and service leavers through the programme, offering post-course support into employment, self-employment or further training. To help with this transition, the charity works with national and local employers who are committed to supporting veterans into a new career.  The courses give learners a massive uplift in confidence and motivation, providing valuable new skills to not only launch a career in construction or engineering, but also support physical and mental rehabilitation.

Everyone on the course is supported by an RWPO (Recruitment, Welfare & Progression Officer). The officer acts as the main point of contact for learners, offering welfare support for the duration of the course and up to six months after the course, plus assisting in finding suitable onward career pathways.

Building Heroes’ five-week programmes (Foundation Property Maintenance and L2 Performing Engineering Operations) are available free of charge to all military veterans and their families whether resettling, medically discharged or already on Civvy Street.


Foundation Property Maintenance

This course covers a wide range of property maintenance and building skills including, bricklaying, rendering, plastering, plumbing, carpentry/joinery, tiling and painting & decorating.

L2 Performing Engineering Operations (PEO)

This course covers a wide range of engineering processes including, sheet metal, fabrication and welding and bench fitting (tool making).

Throughout the programme Building Heroes works with the veterans (or their families) to identify an appropriate career path for them whether employed, self-employed or further training.

Course Breakdown

How long is the course?

Both the Foundation Property Maintenance and the L2 Performing Engineering Operation courses run over 5 weeks, 5 days a week.

What will I learn?

Foundation Property Maintenance

Health, safety and welfare in construction, including CSCS training and examination

Brickwork, blockwork, rendering and plastering

Painting & Decorating, tiling

Domestic plumbing


Routine maintenance tasks (e.g. locks, guttering)


L2 Performing Engineering Operations (PEO)

Working safely in an engineering environment

Carrying out engineering activities efficiently and effectively

Using and communicating technical information

Producing sheet metal components and assemblies

Preparing and using semi-automatic MIG welding equipment

Producing components using hand fitting techniques (tool making)

What are the qualifications?

Foundation Property Maintenance

The five-week course will be delivered in our specialist training facility at Colchester Institute at our main campus in Colchester.  On successful completion you will achieve a L1 City & Guilds 6219 Diploma in Construction Skills qualification and on successful completion of a CSCS Test you will also have the opportunity to gain your Construction Skills Certificate Scheme (CSCS) Labourers card, essential for working in the construction industry.


L2 Performing Engineering Operations (PEO)

The five-week course will be delivered in our specialist training facility at Colchester Institute at our Energy Skills Centre in Harwich.  On successful completion you will achieve an EAL L2 Performing Engineering Operations qualification which is a familiar qualification to all employers in the engineering sector.

What happens after the course?

This will depend on your personal situation and your career ambitions.  Building Heroes aims to support you into a career in either the building or engineering sectors, whether that is as an employee, self-employed or continuing with further training.  It will provide guidance and advice appropriate to your needs.

Is the course residential?

Residential and non-residential options can be provided by Building Heroes, depending on location.

How long is a day’s training?

Your day will start at 8:30 am and will finish around 4pm. Additional study towards your health and safety tests may be required outside of these hours.

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have welcomed some fantastic cohorts of Building Heroes at Colchester Institute. Through their engagement and feedback we’ve been able to consistently improve the experience and provide our Heroes with the skills they need to explore the option of a new career.

I feel this program is great and I cannot sing its praises enough! I will be trying to get the word around to others who I know have options open. I feel this is also a great way for someone who is phasing out of military life to get away and focus on themselves.
Ben - 5th Cohort at Colchester Institute
Building Heroes’ CEO, Brendan Williams, has been in attendance at the graduations and has closely followed the progress of our cohorts.

The cohorts of Building Heroes to have passed through Colchester Institute have been a great success, we couldn’t have asked for more. The enthusiasm and support from the whole CI team coupled with a great facility has made it a pleasure for us and the learners. Long may it continue!
Brendan Williams - Building Heroes CEO

The completion of both courses is followed by a Graduation Ceremony during which the Heroes receive their certificates.

We look forward to meeting you!

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A fantastic and enjoyable experience allowing me to identify what areas of construction to pursue at a later date but it has also given me the confidence to complete my home extension. I would highly recommend this course to anyone leaving service whether they wish to enter the job market in construction or simply attempt to build their own extension at home.
I find myself fortunate to have been selected for this course. The waiting list is large, which reflects how good the course is. The course content was perfect to give a thorough insite into each trade so that if you want to focus on a single trade you have been given enough practical experience to make a educated decision. Michael Bloom the instructor is vastly experienced and knowledgeable, as well as being very approachable which made learning very easy. I couldn’t recommend this course enough and I will be recommending it to anyone who will listen.
I feel confident to go away and carry out certain trades on my own, I felt confident in my own abilties before the course but I feel even more confident now. I wouldn’t have any problem with carrying out a small job using the skills we have learnt on this course.
This program is great and I cannot sing its praises enough. I will be trying to the word around to others who I know have options open. I feel this is also a great way for someone who is phasing out of military life to get away and focus on themselves.