It is estimated that around 24,000 people leave the UK Armed Forces each year. For most of those ex-forces personnel, they may not have career destinations in mind, or jobs to go to.
This is despite the fact that ex-forces personnel offer unique skillsets and experiences, and represents a major failing of UK employers to spot and utilise this talent.
Many of those who have served in the forces remain unconvinced that their skills can be transferred to ‘civvy street’. In some cases army, navy and air force life is all that they have known, and the transition can be tough. Sadly it is thought around 1,000 ex-forces personnel sleep rough on Britain’s streets each night.
However, there are some more positive notes sounded about post-services job opportunities. Ministry of Defence figures suggest upwards of 90% of ex-military personnel find work within six months of leaving the services, and all leavers have access to resettlement careers advice for up to two years.
The most important thing for ex-services personnel, however, remains access to training, and bringing about a deeper understanding of the options open to them. A few recent examples highlight that the UK is broadening training options open to armed service leavers: The Houses2Homes scheme trains ex-forces personnel as builders and construction workers.
A recent imitative set-up at the University of Birmingham will help re-train former military personnel in railway and logistics management; whilst the Government has recently launched ‘Troops To Teachers’, a scheme that aims to get former military members into full time teaching with an approach that combines subsidised education and a fast-track approach to completing the courses.
According to Samuel Rickard of payroll and tax advice experts PayMatters, variety of choice will mean that the UK gets the best out of the unique talent pool represented by ex-forces personnel: “The schemes mentioned are the tip of iceberg as far as we’re concerned. More needs to be done to get ex-armed servicemen and women back into the workplace.”
“As a company that works with contractors and limited companies, we have seen first hand how adept army leavers are at becoming stand alone construction contractors, engineers, IT technicians; a whole range of job types and industries benefit from having these supremely talent men and women involved. We would love to see more training opportunities fed their way so that we can get the best out of the talent pool streaming away from life in the armed forces each year.”
PayMatters are APSCo accredited, professional passport approved and are business partners with the Institute Of Recruiters (IOR). PayMatters pride themselves on being fully HMRC compliant from an employers and employees NI, PAYE and expense perspective. For further information please contact Samuel Rickard, Account Executive on 01625 546 610.