Fighting fit | How to support veteran employees - with insights from M&S

How to support veteran employees - with insights from M&S

Deep Dive

With former Armed Services personnel twice as likely to be unemployed as their civilian counterparts, and with veteran homelessness a perennial issue, are former Armed Servicepeople an untapped potential source of talent for your company?

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has estimated that there are two million UK armed forces veterans residing in Great Britain in 2022 and, although the withdrawal of British troops from armed conflicts in countries such as Afghanistan means that the estimated overall number of veterans is expected to decrease, the percentage of veterans who are of working age is projected to increase from 37% in 2016 to 44% by 2028.

With both ONS and MOD figures showing that veterans are at higher risk of homelessness and unemployment (working-age vets are twice as likely as their civilian counterparts to be unemployed, according to this data) and the UK’s talent shortage still not abating, this is an untapped and valuable resource for organisations with boots to fill.

How can HR support veterans?

Business in the Community (BITC) has written a comprehensive guide to this issue – 'Capitalising on Military Talent: Everything you need to know about employing Armed Forces veterans' – which has been shared with HR Grapevine. In it, the group outlines the issues that former Armed Services personnel may face with reintegration into societies, and how to check if your organisation is doing what you can to help those employees.

“Veterans represent a unique, diverse and high-performing source of talent,” the guide says. “Yet many employers are missing out on this great talent due to a lack of knowledge about the military or misconceptions based on negative stereotypes. At BITC, we believe employers have a responsibility and opportunity to support ex-military personnel to successfully transition into meaningful second careers that enable them to achieve their full potential.

We see first-hand the benefits and skillsets that employing ex-service personnel can bring to a business day in, day out

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