Facing the future: As the UK restructures its Armed Forces, what lies ahead for former service personnel?

Armed Forces ContractorsArmed forces job cuts due for the summer of 2013 are part of a wider UK government plan to reduce the number of regular personnel from 102,000 to 87,000 by the year 2017. Although personnel currently serving, or just returned from deployment, will not be caught up, there is likelihood that the Ministry of Defence cuts could affect them in 2014.

The strain of such announcements on servicemen, service women and their families is acute. With soldiers often the main breadwinner for families often living in service personnel accommodation, the threat of redundancy brings with it questions of relocation as well as the daunting task of finding new work once they have left the army.

So what opportunities are there for servicemen once they leave the armed forces? It would seem that certain industries are fast realising that a vast pool of potential can be found amongst ex-service personnel. Recently the ISACA, an international body monitoring information systems security, has made it a key aim to promote the recruitment ex-forces intelligence operatives into the IT arena, specifically within the remits of internet security and auditing.

Additionally, ex-service personnel with engineering expertise are being targeted for involvement in training schemes that can see them find work across the oil, gas and wind energy industries. These sectors seem to be striking out to make use of the vast experience former forces personnel bring to the marketplace.

Stewart Davis, Group Commercial Director of PayMatters, a company that specialises in offering contractors and recruitment agencies with tax compliance and payroll advice, offered his thoughts on what the future may hold for ex-service personnel

“The abilities and skill sets of those who have served and since left our armed forces are vast and wide-ranging, albeit sadly under utilised. The Navy, Army and Royal Air Force use contractors throughout their service arms, and it would be great to see those contractors finding work in a similar capacity back in civilian life. Helping ex-forces personnel to effectively ‘career-transition’ would mean firms taking on dedicated, disciplined staff with great out-of-industry experience, and reaping the benefits of what these men and women can offer across many sectors of the UK economy.”

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 Stewart Davis, Group Commercial Director on 07890 623003, stewart.davis@paymatters.co.uk