New figures and research conducted by Openreach has revealed that veterans are out of work for an average of seven months before starting civilian employment.
Openreach – UK’s largest private sector employer of Armed Forces people – found that veterans are finding it challenging to adapt to their new civilian lifestyle.
Polling 250 veterans from the UK on their experiences of transitioning into civvy street, Openreach found that two thirds of veterans (71.6 per cent) struggled to adjust to their civilian careers, and almost half (44 per cent) of veterans took a year or longer to adjust to civilian employment.
“Many veterans and reservists leaving the Armed Forces are likely to have never worked in a civilian job and therefore find it extremely difficult to write a CV that effectively showcases their transferable skills into the business world,” explains Kevin Brady, HR Director for Openreach.
“Over the years we’ve taken a different approach when it comes to reviewing veteran CV’s and we’ve been running a highly successful Transition Force programme, which provides feedback and mentoring to help strengthen how they showcase their skills to potential employers.”
Since 2015, Openreach has partnered with SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity and their Transition Force programme has supported over 1,500 veterans from all ranks get into paid employment. This includes personnel who have been wounded, injured or sick.
Within the training, veterans learn CV skills, get pre-interview workshops, as well as an opportunity to network and gain hands-on work experience.
In a bid to promote confidence amongst veterans, Openreach actively hires ex-service personnel. To date the company has hired 3,000 ex-Forces works since 2011.
“Here at Openreach, we see thousands of veterans excel when it comes performance and delivery. They tend to climb the career ladder quickly as a result, because they’re usually very organised, impeccable communicators and seem to like our big team atmosphere. They really do thrive here.”
The training is a welcome step for veterans, with further research from Openreach highlighting that despite eight in 10 veterans (80 per cent) feeling employable after leaving the Forces, two thirds (68.8 per cent) find it difficult to see how their skills would translate to a new career.
Gary Williams, heading up the mentoring team at SSAFA adds: “There are many misconceptions about service leavers, some employers may wrongly think that they are institutionalised, or simply fail to understand the value of their experience.
“In fact, [veterans] are disciplined, thrive under pressure and have a strong sense of duty – qualities we should be looking for in an employee.
“It’s important that more companies mirror the support that Openreach offers veterans, by offering clear career progression, a tailored hiring process and non-judgmental guidance.”