Dave Kieft, Chairperson at EFT Consult

South Wales-based building services and engineering solutions providers, Raven Delta (RD) Group – an innovative, multi-faceted group of companies – has recently exhibited an industry-leading commitment to supporting, encouraging, and training ex-services personnel across the South Wales region.

The RD Group – which comprises EFT Consult, RDM Electrical & Mechanical Services and DRS Facilities Management – has signed the BuildForce Charter and become a partner of the BuildForce Alliance, where they will provide mentoring, work placements and job opportunities for ex-service personnel seeking careers in the construction industry and wider built environment.

The group has also announced its sponsorship and strategic partnership with Garrison Farm CIC, a Community Interest Company formed to support ex-services veterans through outdoor, holistic activities and subsidised routes into sustainable living.

RD Group will be providing its building services, engineering, and construction expertise to Garrison Farm CIC’s ecovillage project, whilst also offering training, mentorship and job opportunities during the scheme’s development. The aim is to open doors for veterans to gain skills and potentially seek ongoing career opportunities within the wider construction industry.

BuildForce is a nationwide initiative designed as a mutually beneficial collaboration between ex-military service personnel and organisations within the construction industry. The initiative promotes these sectors to service leavers and veterans connecting them to construction careers through a UK-wide Alliance of employers, industry bodies and charities, and is supported by UK Government.

The holistic scheme offers a variety of services focused on employment, education and mental health for service leavers and veterans. Its employment programme centres around a unique career programme led by industry via mentoring, work placements, site visits and job opportunities.

Its education programme is a partnership with The University College of Estate Management, providing bespoke industry modules, which also offer certification and a place on a degree course for onward learning. The programme includes mental health support, providing a suite of wellbeing and stress management training and additional 1-2-1 counselling to ex-service men and women.

The other veterans’ initiative RD Group is providing sponsorship of is Garrison Farm CIC, which is currently building a team to set up an ecovillage in South Wales. Garrison Farm aims to use the ecovillage to deliver charity services and support for veterans in collaboration with established veterans’ charities and sustainable development organisations.

The ultimate aim of the CIC is to provide veterans with sustainable, eco-friendly homes and employment opportunities, eventually leading to financial independence by sustainably generating income from highly innovative controlled environment agriculture facilities at each of the sites.

RD group has a proven track record of providing design, engineering, installation and maintenance of the building services sector for national and international clients. It plans to use its strategic position and resources to help Garrison Farm fast track its ambitions for building a network of ecovillages and sustainable farming projects, along with helping veterans to gain skills and opportunities in the construction, engineering and building services sectors.

Dave Kieft, CEO of RD Group and BuildForce Ambassador, said:

“We are delighted to be involved with both of these initiatives to support Welsh ex-services personnel to access training and employment opportunities.

“The BuildForce Alliance is a mutually beneficial scheme which allows us to offer the opportunity to mentor and develop keen and talented people, opening the door for them to a successful future career in the construction industry.

“The Garrison Farm CIC is an equally worthwhile endeavour, and it fits very well with RD Group’s interest in developing circular economy initiatives. Having successfully delivered sustainable development projects with similar organisations, we are optimistic we can assist Garrison Farm in successfully developing ecovillages with the latest innovative and industry leading technologies.

“Both initiatives will provide support not only to veterans personally but also provide a platform of support and career opportunity when they leave the armed forces. After protecting us and serving their country, this is our opportunity to show some appreciation and provide viable opportunities when veterans leave the support network they are used to. We are proud to be able to help.”

Caroline Logan, BuildForce programme director, said:

“I am delighted RD Group has signed the BuildForce charter, a pledge of their support to BuildForce and our wider Armed Forces community. I look forward to working with EFT Consult, RDM Electrical & Mechanical Services and DRS Facilities Management, and more importantly providing further opportunities for our military personnel.  Welcome onboard!!”

Chris Carrée, founder of Garrison Farm, said:

“Garrison Farm CIC are delighted to announce strategic support from EFT Consult, RDM Electrical & Mechanical Services and DRS Facilities Management to fast-track our plans to create ecovillages and sustainable farming projects to help veterans.”