27 Jul 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia


The extremely high levels of skill and courage demonstrated by our forces personnel in Afghanistan, and the cost of service for some, so movingly illustrated at Royal Wootton Bassett, reinforced the moral obligation felt by the public towards those that protect the UK and the way of life of its people. As a result, the public has become more aware and concerned about the manner in which individuals are treated by society when they leave the armed forces.

Leaving the armed services through retirement or redundancy can be a testing time for individuals. For those that have to leave because of physical or psychological injury, the transition to civilian life can be extremely difficult. MOD initiatives, through the Government’s Space for Growth programme, such as the ‘makerplaces’ at Aldershot are helping, and real efforts are being made to maintain the Armed Forces Covenant, however, what does need to be highlighted is what ex-forces personnel have to offer employers in the UK jobs market.

A lack of experience in the civilian world of work is compensated for by the qualities found in ex-military individuals of all ranks. They are very loyal; exercise self-discipline (good timekeeping), are used to working as part of a team, show enthusiasm and engender it among others, can be tenacious and rigorous when challenged in some way, can quickly adapt to change and are selfless. In addition, employers find that such individuals do not shy away from taking personal responsibility, have leadership qualities, are good at solving problems as they arise, are professional in their approach and have high levels of moral courage and integrity. When those qualities are combined with the management and practical skills learned when in service these individuals become attractive potential recruits for any employer.

It now looks certain that due to government cuts the UK’s armed forces are going to experience a contraction in all three services. It is likely that more redundancies will occur in the coming months and years as a move to greater reliance on reserve forces gathers pace. If you are an employer this should be seen as a great opportunity to recruit those leaving the services, bringing men and women with the unique qualities described above into your business.