New research has revealed that the UK economy could suffer losses of up to £1.5 billion in the next five years if service leavers are unable to find employment, or are under employed upon leaving the Armed Forces.
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 will experience long term unemployment, and that a further 12 per cent will be sub-optimally employed.
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.
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 £12.6 billion to the UK economy. This is approximate to the annual production of the UK Pharmaceuticals industry.
Previous research conducted by Barclays has shown that many ex-military already face a number of significant challenges when applying for civilian work, many of which stem from a lack of understanding from prospective employers and colleagues alike about what military experience can offer the workforce.
Business Matters (2017) UK economy risks loss of £1.5bn by overlooking the value of ex-military skills. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.bmmagazine.co.uk/news/uk-economy-risks-loss-1-5bn-overlooking-value-ex-military-skills/. [Accessed: 22 February, 2018].