Former corporal turned housebuilder in Deepcut says role is perfect fit
10 May 2021

A former army corporal turned housebuilder in Deepcut is urging other military personnel to take the same route as he emphasises quality and customers at his growing development. Blake Rushmere, site manager at Bovis Homes’ Mindenhurst location, said housebuilding was his dream job and ex-military personnel had transferrable skills perfect for the industry, including timekeeping, organisation and a high regard for presentation. Blake, who was in the army from 2001 to 2013 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan with the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, before becoming a landscaper and then joining the industry in 2016, is now preparing for a three-bedroom show home to launch at the development, off Newfoundland Road, this summer. Blake, from Kingsclere, said: “Housebuilding is a fantastic fit for so many former military personnel. The military teaches you to pause, think and problem solve. But in a quick fashion ?" not in a way that causes delay, and that is perfect for housebuilding. Quality is the most important thing and making the right decisions. Construction is a great way for ex-military people to use their skills, punctuality and organisation and be successful. When I first left in 2013, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and was trying to find my feet. I worked as a tyre fitter and a landscaper, and when I was landscaping, I saw these beautiful houses and thought I want to be building these and that’s how I got into it. I picked it up and just went for it. “Housebuilding is a way of life which military people are accustomed to, particularly the routine and schedule. You can do that as a former engineer or a basic trooper, for example, going down a checklist and building a certain way with quality at the forefront. The military are brilliant at presentation and if it isn’t right we challenge it, as we want it to be the best. We want to build the best home for our customers. We like to work hard and in housebuilding you do ?" you can build a career, you’ve got opportunities to progress ?" from assistant to site manager to project manager ?" and that’s what military personnel love, they’re accustomed to it. It’s all about manging people, materials and development. “This is a great housebuilder to work for, it looks after its people. I’m happy to be here and working at Mindenhurst ?" I have a very good contracts manager, construction director, and MD, and that’s what you need, there’s a great amount of support.” Blake joined the Army Foundation College in Harrogate in 2001, aged 16, after completing his GCSEs. His sister is a captain in the Royal Navy, and brother-in-law a colonel, in the Royal Marines. His other brother-in-law was in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment and his stepdad was in the RAF Police. Blake was inspired by them and a family friend who was a military engineer in the 1990s. After entering the industry, he found out many people he knew from the military were working in housebuilding, including a Bovis Homes site manager in Salisbury who he served with. Blake, who started at Mindenhurst towards the end of last year, added this network was another bonus to being employed in the sector. Two to five-bedroom houses and one, two and three-bedroom, plus studio apartments are being built at Mindenhurst, with the first stage being completed towards the end of the year. Blake, who enjoys walking the family dog in his spare time, added: “Bovis Homes’ locations are really attractive. There’s a great way of working here and from the get-go I was encouraged to grasp the whole process, not just on one part of the job, such as finishing a house. This gives you great experience and puts you in great stead for managing people and being able to understand customers and other areas of the business.”

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