Ex Sappers in Construction

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Sunshineboy, Jun 2, 2007.

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  1. Hello,

    Just starting a thread for ex sappers who are now working in civilian construction like myself.

    It would be a good idea if we could develope a social network to help each other out ie. guys just leaveing the corps, blokes out of work, blokes unhappy with thier current job and blokes who are self employed and want to pick up work.

    I currently work as a site engineer in the midlands, i'm happy at the moment but had a few bad experiences upon leaveing.

    Just introduce yourself and what you're doing or what you need.

  2. Good idea, if you also go onto oldengineers.co.uk you will find many like minded ex sappers, some still doing construction work
  3. left the Corps December 06, currently working in an office would love to get into construction but havent got a clue about where to go etc, im defo something more than a labourer, any tips? ideas? currently living in Brum
  4. Hello Spitlock,

    Labourer is the first step on the ladder, a bit like the rank "sapper" on the Corp. Its a good starting point and can be decent money, from their you could start trade training at night or go on a course to get a ticket to drive plant. I wouldn't start too far up the ladder because you can have bad experiences and it put you off for life.
  5. Having left the corp 13 years ago and pissed about changing jobs every other 6 months I've found construction the best paid and most enjoyable work out of all the jobs I've had, most of the lads have almost got a squaddie sense of houmour ,like going on the pish and can take the rough with the smooth. The chances of getting on as a career are good keep your gob shut your ears open listen to the guys, they have a great deal of skills and tricks of the trade, dont be put off by apperiances even the fat old cutn is there for a reason ...his skills.
  6. I left the corp 2 year ago,and found employment as a bricklayer in northern ireland, i had many rejections at the start when looking for work, because most employers where looking for experienced brickies, and when they ask what experience you have , well like me i did my basic bricklaying 92/94 then nothing till my advanced course in 97 and then nothing till i found someone that was willing to give me chance, i am now currently still employed as a bricklayer/any job that needs done, with my second employer and i am enjoying the work i do although not every day involves laying bricks, but im learning new skills every day.

    Handy being an ex engineer, you can turn your hand to anything.
  7. I did an apprenticeship with a local company when i was 18, did 2 years in London with said company and i am still welcomed back for work every noe and again. Great life experiance, great crack with the lads, and a hell of a lot of knowledge out there.

    Like any decent walk of life, the slackers don't last very long and you tend to get a dedicated work force. I loved doing it, would reccomend it to anyone.

    Everyone bloody honks though!
  8. But why be an ex-Sapper in Construction?

    Follow the link to become Yet-a-Sapper in Construction. Continue the crack, network (in the non-IT sense) and potentially improve your civvy career prospects.


    There's also the opportunity to go on courses to further improve your civvy career prospects.

    Having seized the opportunity, now I'll shut up.
  9. noted thanks for the advice. When I first got out I rang up loads of builders and asked about work saying I had a NVQ in general construction (Knew the B1 would come in handy for something) NVQ in welding, worked on constructions sites around the world, got own vehicle and can travel etc, everyone I spoke to was really helpful, but as a labourer only got offered 40quid a day, im not expecting thousands, but thats hardly enough to tie the loose ends! any more tips and is 40quid a day about right?
  10. I would say 40quid a day is low, more in the region of twice that now, the best thing you can do is make a start, get to know people and then ring around when they leave your site for another to see how green the grass is there.
  11. £40 per day is so low that it's bordering, if not at, National Minimum Wage.

    That said, the Terms and Conditions that go with it can make a big difference to the total income.

    I did a spot of labouring 30 years ago and the basic pay was very poor (less than Army pay at the time, in fact - and Army pay was at an all time low then). I quickly discovered that a labourer's wage was enhanced by bonuses and that the value of these depended on the nature of the work. Digging holes had a low bonus, digging holes in the rain was a bit more, chasing channels in walls was a neat little earner, but unloading the cement wagon was the pearl. When that wagon arrived, you wouldn't find a labourer anywhere else on site. A pleasant surprise came later. The company I worked for also had a holiday pay scheme - you were obliged to contribute some of your earnings to it. What wasn't apparent until later was that the company also paid into it, and quite generously. All things considered, the actual pay was about twice the basic.

    Something else to look out for is overtime. Some jobs don't offer any, so £40 would be a kick in the teeth. Some expect you to do an extra couple of hours each day plus a half day on Saturday, so you could actually be looking at £300 per week instead of £200.

    It pays to shop around, especially if you're willing to put extra time in.
  12. Evening all,

    Top idea for a thread Sunshineboy, thought I'd contribute, for what it's worth.

    Firstly, an idea that might help those thinking of leaving.

    A couple of years ago I ran into a couple of blokes (2 x SNCO of which 1 x C+J, 1 x B+C) - both still serving - who had decided to start up a small side business as odd jobs / very small scale builders.

    The last I heard, they were both due to leave and set up shop for real, having been doing this for nearly a year. The advantages were:

    -experience of dealing in the real world. They'd run into all the little problems - and solved them - while still in the army. This ranged from stupid little things from where to park the van in the evening to really important things like how to ensure that your financial records are in order.

    - An established client base that recommended the pair to their friends. Being good blokes, they'd done their best not to cut any corners, been honest to their clients and not overcharged.

    - Their own tools, in a collection built up over time and as required. (Not sure if any of this came from the G10 - they swore not!)

    All in all, a good package. I have no idea if they went on to success, or even if they ended up leaving the mob, (one was still a bit undecided), but I think that they would have made a lot of money.

    In terms of the big boy's construction industry - big money comes with big responsibility. I would start with a job that you know is well within your ability, (labourer, chippy's mate, tipper driver) and then work upwards. One of the best civvy project managers I have ever worked with started as a plumber's mate, and was on 70K on the Costa del Sol by the time he was 35. No degrees or fancy quals along the way, although he was the first to admit that they would have made life easier.

    Hope this helps, and good luck all.
  13. I work in construction as a elf n safety nazi, most corps lads I know who are in the building trade, are ex SNCOs, and are in well to do management positions.

    Its hard to compete on the tools as you cannot speak polish, and your wage expectations will be to high. :x

    one thing that doesnt go down to well in civi strausse is squaddie talk. best thing to do is keep your head down, work hard and you will get on.

    By the way the grass is not always greener!!!! 8O

  14. I work in construction as a Clerk of Works and the job is well paid and rewarding. I have met a few ex sappers and they all seemed miserable as f~ck - probably because despite years of service, operational tours and experience they opted for the first job they saw in the job ads.

    The Rev is right about squaddie speak - most won't have a scoobie about what you just said, and the Irish begin to look at you suspiciously. So instead of wait out, tell 'em to hang on - your foreman isn't sunray minor and the boss of your com[any isn't 0A!
  15. Did you train as a clerk of works in the army, or pick it up when upon leaveing? I understand the 2 jobs are completely different? I've had quite a few puzzled looks when I've asked for a leave pass,sorry, I mean holiday form or what time do we finish "1730 hours" thats half past 5 isn't it.

    I had a Project Manager who thought I was the Dogs B***ocks because I had been in the mob, I use to get away with alsorts.