Project case study - Project RECCE

Project RECCE (Resettlement - Education - Construction - Community - Employment) was co-founded by Laurence Moore, a former British Army Officer, and Neil Houlihan, an experienced Building Consultant, Investor & Property Developer. It provides a pathway for veterans to acquire skills in preparation for a career in the construction industry.

Together, they developed a programme that consisted of employability support, construction specific training and work placements, and assistance in securing an interview with an industry partner.

Balfour Beatty is a strategic partner of Project RECCE and the A9 Dualling: Luncarty to Pass of Birnam project was identified as an ideal site for the first four-week long programme in Scotland to be delivered in May 2020.

However, given the constraints at the time relating to the Covid19 pandemic, the Project RECCE team quickly adapted, and the programme moved to an online delivery model with support from Balfour Beatty’s CSR Manager, Ken Brown.

Ken delivered industry talks and careers advice to veterans on the course virtually, helping to prepare them for a transition to site based roles.

Project RECCE logo
Project RECCE logo


As the site teams became accustomed to working with restrictions in place, the project was able to recommence with on-site engagement opportunities with their community partners. The first of these was a series of work placements delivered in partnership with Project RECCE.

During September and October of 2020, the project team welcomed the first of the Project RECCE participants to site for two-week work placements. Sam Oppong-Druyeh, a former Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Aircraft Technician Supervisor/Asset Controller, spent two weeks on site shadowing the engineering team and learning about the project.

Sam on-site with the Balfour Beatty team
Sam on-site with the Balfour Beatty team

Sam spoke about his experience on site and how it benefitted his understanding of the industry.

Sustainable Employment Outcomes

Other veterans who completed placements on site included Dave Pinner, Life Support Technician, and Kenny George of the Royal Engineers.

Dave spent two weeks with subcontractor Breedon Group learning about road construction and material testing requirements for asphalt.

Dave and Kenny sitting together at a table
Dave and Kenny sharing their experiences from their placements.

Kenny spent his two weeks shadowing section and site engineers. After 24 years with the Royal Engineers, Kenny had a lot of skills and experience in construction from a military perspective but learned a lot about the level of precision involved in civilian infrastructure projects.

At the end of his placement, Dave received two job offers, deciding to take up employment with Sunbelt, the sub-contractor who provided the projects’ cabins and welfare units.