Momentum is gaining around employing ex-military across the UK, spanning various industries. This is happening as the benefits to employers are becoming clearer, alongside an increasing understanding of our social responsibility to support those who have served our country and leaving the forces.

The UK is facing a growing skills gap that many ex-military personnel are specifically trained to fill. According to research from the Royal British Legion, skills related to engineering, information technology, transport and logistics, and security commonly overlap with the most severe skills shortages.

Members of the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are specially trained to work with some of the most advanced technological systems and advanced defence projects in the world, and gain recognised qualifications that they can use to add much-needed skills and expertise to your company.

Despite holding the knowledge desperately needed by many UK companies, ex-military personnel are often overlooked due to being stigmatised as mentally unwell. Reports suggest that 46% of recruiters would be reluctant to hire a service leaver ‘in case they had mental health issues’.

Not only does this highlight diminishing stigmatisation of those who have served in the military, but a dangerous and problematic perception of mental health.

Luckily, many consumers are beginning to recognise that this is a stigma that only further damages ex-military personnel. As such, research suggests employers who have publicly demonstrated their willingness to hire ex-forces individuals saw a positive impact on their brand.

Benefits of Employing Ex-Military

According to national statistics, around 14,310 people left the UK Regular Armed Forces in 2020, which is a vast pool of skilled talent your organisation cannot afford to ignore. Not only will it help satisfy your company’s social mobility commitment, but you can also help increase your retention rates and boost overall productivity.

Here’s why your company should consider employing ex-military staff to fill a skills gap in your workforce.

1. Mental Resilience

Ex-military personnel have experience working in highly pressured environments. They have the skills and expertise on how to remain calm and act decisively when required. They are also great problem solvers and have the ability to resolve issues with limited resources, adapting to whatever situation they may find themselves within.

2. Teamwork

Veterans are taught to communicate clearly to ensure the smooth running of any tasks or activities being carried out. This includes developing the ability to explain more complex information in simpler terms.

Ex-forces individuals tend to have a sufficient level of leadership experience and excellent team working skills. These are both obtained from operating in situations with limited control but working on getting the job done successfully as part of a team.

3. Skills

Military personnel are not only trained in roles that they can also use in civilian organisations but have a long list of transferable skills. These skills often revolve around organisation, problem-solving and critical thinking.

4. Work Ethic

Naturally, military training instils a strict code of discipline and endurance that ensures they are committed to the project and organisation they are working for. This has been found to have had a direct effect on productivity in the workplace, especially when the employee is faced with difficult tasks that require a distinct level of concentration.

5. Loyalty

Many employers report that veterans demonstrate greater loyalty to their new employers. This is shown in how ex-military workers have a lower rate of absenteeism than non-veteran colleagues and have on average been found to stay working within a company longer than non-serving employees.

6. Driven

What separates veterans from the rest of the workforce is their passion for achievement and drive to succeed. This comes as a direct result of their military training and unique experiences they have encountered while serving.

How to Hire Ex-Military

Promoting your roles on platforms that are designed to attract ex-military candidates is the easiest and most effective way to fill your skills gap. Refreshing a Career has a specialist career change jobs board to support jobseekers looking to retain or start a new career. It attracts ex-military job seekers and connects them with inclusive and forward-thinking employers.

Job credits can be bought individually or in bulk, and linked to a unique company profile, enabling candidates to find out more about your organisation before they apply. Click here to find out more information about our services for employers.

Available Funding

The Ministry of Defence’s Career Transition Programme (CTP) is a government-funded programme available to service leavers to help aid the transition to civilian careers and provides support to help the ex-military find jobs. The programme is available to ex-military personnel up to two years before they are due to leave service and can continue for up to two years post-discharge.

Organisations of all sizes, from SME’s to large enterprises, can sign up for the scheme to access a high-quality pool of ex-military talent. This also saves costs in recruitment and training, and will provide the opportunity to improve your workforce with motivated and dedicated work.

The CTP also provide work placements, helping to provide an excellent opportunity for both the employer and candidates to find out a bit more about each other before committing to offering permanent employment.

Visit our funding page to find out what other options are available to employers looking to take on career change candidates. Be sure to also check out what employer services Refreshing a Career can provide for support employing ex-military workers, including advertising your roles on our unique career change jobs board.