Crash, bang wallop! One minute you’re a soldier fighting on the front line in Afghanistan; the next you’re homeless and hungry on civvy street suffering from PTSD and addiction! Or so the media might like you to believe…
There is no denying that leaving the Forces can be hard. However, this blog post would like to challenge public misconceptions of ex-military personnel and tell you why Gone for Good is excited and proud to employ men and women, from the Forces, within our organisation.
Leaving the Forces
Thousands of skilled and experienced individuals leave the Armed Forces each year. Whilst the vast majority go on to lead healthy and productive lives, some veterans can face significant challenges in transitioning to civilian life. Potential problems can include Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), mental health issues and drug and alcohol addiction. Bearing in mind that some of these men and women have been through horrific and unimaginable events; these consequences are hardly surprising. It is true that many veterans have suffered injuries and other health problems. However, in all but extreme cases, most ex-military personnel are able to return to work without any impairment.
Leaving the Forces can feel like starting again and returning to life as a civilian can be fraught with hurdles. Life in the military is one of discipline, order and camaraderie which often goes hand in hand with a feeling of belonging. Coming from a situation considerably lacking in civilian norms, the transition to life as a civilian can feel daunting, unstructured and lonely. For some, who joined straight from school, it can be hard to imagine where they, as individuals, fit in outside of the Forces. However, military talent and transferable skills gained during service can make veterans valuable members of a work force. With around 16,000 men and women leaving the Forces, each year, the potential pool of job candidates is huge.
The task of looking for a new job can be one of the first hurdles that ex-military personnel face. Unemployment rates for this segment of society are well above national averages. However, Military talent is wide and varied; they have a wealth of transferable skills and with a little support can become valuable employees that enhance a workforce.
Benefits of Recruiting Military Veterans
The ‘Veterans Work’ report, produced by Deloitte, highlights the considerable benefits that organisations can realise by recruiting from military talent. Included in the report are the following summarised points:
72% of organisations which have a commitment to employing ex-military personnel, would recommend that others do the same.
Organisations employing staff from the Forces have found that as well as possessing a specialised skill set, they perform well across a range of areas.
Veterans tend to have lower rates of sickness absence than the wider workforce.
53% of organisations employing veterans noted faster promotion rates than their workforce in general.
Many of the skills that veterans possess are in areas which are experiencing gaps.
Transferable skills can be underestimated but, in fact, are wide and varied among ex-military personnel. See diagram below:
In addition, Army life is based on six core values:
- Courage: Be brave enough to do the right thing, no matter what the circumstances
- Discipline: Set a good example and follow lawful orders
- Respect for others: Treat people as you would want to be treated
- Integrity: Be honest and never lie, cheat or steal
- Loyalty: Look after your mates and stick with them, even when the going gets tough
- Selfless commitment: Put the team, your mates and the mission before yourself
These are all attributes which employers are looking for and which veterans have, by virtue of their training.
Mike Rayner is a former Army Officer. He has 25 years of military operations and logistics experience along with a decade of strategic and planning involvement as a civilian. He is now Project Director for Gone for Good’s new pilot scheme, the #CharityVan. Mike has seen first-hand how difficult it has been for some of his ex-army colleagues to gain employment.
Ex-service men and women come with a vast amount of experience and transferable skills. Many organisations fail to see these due to pre-conceptions of individuals with a military background. Companies and organisations are missing out on a valuable source of employable individuals that are trustworthy, have a can-do attitude, are good at solving problems and can deal with tricky situations.
Mike came up with the idea of employing ex-service men and women as Van drivers and administration staff for Gone for Good. He approached Brian Jones for advice. Not only did Brian provide sound guidance and encouragement but he very generously offered to recruit and train the first 7 van drivers for free.
Brian Jones, Managing Director of Pro-Active Recruitment and Training has a range of experience, spread over 40 years, with HM Forces and general management. For the past 12 years Brian has been involved in inspiring, preparing and recruiting ex-military personnel for civilian employment.
“Pro-Active Recruitment and Training have a very close relationship with the UK Forces. We concentrate on converting their management and manual skills, developed in the Armed Forces, to the skills required to be successful within civilian employment”
He goes on to say:
Ex- Military Personnel have excellent disciplinary standards, determination to succeed and duty of care. These skills are natured and can be used in all fields of industry in any walks of life.
All we ask is look at the broader picture of life and give these ex forces personnel a chance. Always remember they have served this country and some with life changing injuries, so that you and your family, can have a peaceful and fruitful life, for years to come.
The Gone for Good #CharityVan
The Gone for Good #CharityVan is a FREE courier service. It enables people to donate unwanted and reusable clothes, electrical items and furniture to charity quickly and easily.
The service will use new, low CO2 vehicles. Driven by ex-service men and women, Gone for Good hopes to give a first-class donor experience. The vans can also be adapted, to suit those with a physical impairment.
The #CharityVan will pilot in October 2018. From October 15th, residents within the M25 will be able to book a van, via the app or online system, to arrange collection of preloved items and donate them to one of our partnering charities. The app is totally free to use and the #CharityVan aims to pick up items within four days of someone submitting a donation.
To find out more about the #CharityVan, please click here.
Remember, each time you book a #CharityVan you are not only supporting a good cause and the environment; you are helping provide employment for ex-military men and women too.
Please visit our website for more information.
A list of organisations, that provide help and support for men and women leaving the Forces, can be found here: https://www.ctp.org.uk/resettlement-guides/charities-396677
If you own or manage an organisation, that would like employ ex-military personnel, there is a great guide here: Capitalising on Military Talent – Everything you need to know about employing Armed Forces veterans.