Employers put UK economy at risk of £1.5bn loss by overlooking the value of ex-military skills

Are you missing out?

A new study from Barclays has revealed that the UK economy could suffer losses of up to £1.5bn in the next five years if service leavers aren’t able to find employment, or are under employed upon leaving the Armed Forces.

  • More than one in five (22 per cent) service leavers will face employment challenges, resulting in a potential loss of £1.5bn to the economy according to new research from Barclays
  • Ex-military could help to plug UK skills shortage, by filling one in six predicted vacancies, and contributing £12.6bn to the economy
  • Barclays urges employers to recognise the value that veterans can bring to the UK workforce

As a founding member of the Veterans Employment Transition Support (VETS) programme, Barclays is calling for employers to do more to recognise the valuable skills and experience that this cohort of highly talented individuals possesses, as well as the billions of pounds invested by the MOD in the training of military personnel. Failure of employers to take action by recruiting ex-military personnel into their workforces could prove detrimental to the future growth of UK plc, at a time when bolstering the skilled workforce is crucial to securing the country’s economic future.

Those employers that overlook ex-military when recruiting are failing to recognise the valuable skills and experience this cohort of highly talented individuals possesses, as well as the billions of pounds invested by the MOD in the training of military personnel. The impact of this could prove detrimental to the future growth of UK plc, at a time when bolstering the skilled workforce is crucial to securing the country’s economic future. 

The research calculates the direct and indirect contribution of the up to 85,000 personnel that are estimated to leave the military by 2021; a figure which is equivalent to the number of people currently employed in the UK creative, arts and entertainment sector. While many veterans make a successful transition to civilian employment, the study predicts that one in 10 veterans (10 per cent) will experience long term unemployment, and that a further 12 per cent will be sub-optimally employed (where their skills are being under-utilised by employers).

Around two thirds of employers are expected to experience deficits in soft skills within the next five years, with more than 600,000 jobs left unfilled. By deploying more ex-military personnel into civilian job roles, one in six of these vacancies could be filled, resulting in a contribution of £12.6bn to the UK economy. This is approximate to the annual production of the UK Pharmaceuticals industry.

The Veterans Employment Transition Support (VETS) programme is a coalition of willing companies and leading military charities, who seek to work within existing transition support efforts to maximise employment outcomes for veterans and employers alike.

Stuart Tootal, Head of the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement (AFTER) Programme, said: “This research reinforces how veterans can add real value to the commercial sector.  Our ex-military men and women have a wealth of experience and valuable skill sets and it is time that more employers took advantage of this.

“Working with others, the VETS programme provides a one-stop-shop for employers wishing to access this considerable pool of ex-military talent, as well as assisting veterans with a range of support to help them find the right job. 

In short, VETS is good for veterans, employers and the economy.”

Rob Lummis, Head of Employee Experiences at Jaguar Land Rover, said, “Service leavers bring with them a highly relevant military skill set that has added huge value to our workforce not just in the UK, but globally.

“Hiring veterans isn’t just a nice thing to do, it’s the right thing to do if employers want to bring talented individuals into their business. Through initiatives such as VETS, businesses can access the support they need to find the right ex-military candidates and really benefit from the transferrable and valuable skill sets they bring.” 

Johnny Mercer MP, Plymouth, Moor View said, ‘This research by Barclays demonstrates the enormous value that ex-service personnel bring to the UK workforce and to the economy as a whole. I would be delighted to see businesses across the UK utilise the unique skills and experience of our ex-military service men and women, helping them to overcome the inevitable challenges that can come with returning to civilian life.’

Social Bookmarks