How to join the Armed Forces and the support you'll receive as a military veteran

ATTENTION! Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day when we show our support for those serving our nation.

But the Army, Navy and RAF are also among the UK’s biggest employers, with 150,000 serving. Today we look at how to join the Armed Forces — and the support available when you leave as a military veteran.

JOINING THE RANKS: Did you know the Armed Forces are the UK’s biggest apprenticeship providers? Each year 18,500 Britons join the Forces, with 90 per cent enrolling on an apprenticeship.

  • ARMY: apply.army.mod.uk/how-to-join
  • NAVY: royalnavy.mod.uk/careers/joining
  • RAF: raf.mod.uk/recruitment/how-to-apply/eligibility-check

Following their service, most veterans do go on to successful careers but the latest statistics from the Royal British Legion show working-age veterans are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as civilians. These schemes are among those that can help them find work.

CAREER TRANSITION PARTNERSHIP: The CTP has supported former soldiers into work for over 20 years. Services include job fairs, an online jobs board and a dedicated employment relationship manager to ease the transition into civilian life and work. See ctp.org.uk.

ARMED FORCES CHAMPIONS: Part of the Department for Work and Pensions, they specialise in supporting veterans. For further information and to access support speak to your local Jobcentre.

Help for veterans

LINSAY Jones is an Armed Forces Champion, based at Cardiff Jobcentre.

Linsay recently found work for Afghanistan veteran Joseph Watson, who was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She said: “Joseph had gone through so much and was seeing a psychiatrist to overcome his PTSD. I began to gain his trust and got to know him as a person, his goals, aspirations and challenges.”

Linsay secured funding for Joseph to have a medical and embark on training in asbestos removal and together they found him the perfect job – removing asbestos at an Army barracks.

She added: “I’m thrilled that I was able to access the right provision to help Joseph.”

Support on civvy street

TRY these charities, companies and organisations which aim to help former services personnel back to work.

TECH VETS: Non-profit organisation helps service leavers train in cybersecurity and tech careers (techvets.co).

RFEA: The Forces employment charity will launch a new live stream event ‘Careers Sitrep’ at 2.30pm today. The regular programme will offer advice including tips for military jobseekers and the value of veterans in the NHS (rfea.org.uk/careerssitrep).

HALFORDS INTERVIEW: Car and bike specialist Halfords offers a guaranteed interview scheme for ex-forces and reservist candidates.

CEO Graham Stapleton said: “We have found that those with a forces background have some great attributes such as discipline, teamwork and problem solving.” The firm has 700 jobs from solutions advisers to MOT testers (halfordscareers.com).

TRANSITION TO TEACH: The DoE funded scheme supports career changers to become teachers. Applications are open for people wishing to start training in September (transitiontoteach.co.uk).

Service-leaver employer Yodel

PARCEL firm Yodel is one of the best-known service-leaver employers.

In 2019 the company won the Ministry of Defence’s gold award, recognising its commitment to supporting the armed forces community.

The firm has more than 500 employed and self-employed positions including engineering, security and commercial.

Yodel CEO Mike Hancox said: “Ex-service personnel bring valuable skillsets to a business and Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to champion the work they do beyond the traditional service. We offer guaranteed interviews to military veterans who fulfil our criteria, and extra leave to reservists to complete their training.”

Interested? You can apply at yodelopportunities.co.uk.

You can rely on a veteran…

WITH a unique set of transferable skills, military personnel can be valuable staff assets after they have served their country.

Garrath Williams, of recruiters joboppo.co.uk, said: “While there are certainly veterans who need and deserve support, they make up less than ten per cent of the ex-military community, so we need to wrestle back this narrative. Veterans are ‘Valuable Not Vulnerable’.”

  • Veterans embody the best qualities. They are smart, loyal, hard-working and resilient.
  • The pandemic has brought uncertainty but those who have served in uniform around the world are comfortable in uncertainty, and at times relish it. They are best placed to help firms recover from the crisis.
  • The concept of mission command and the need to work towards a clear outcome means veterans can grasp the strategic and organisational goals and appreciate their part in the bigger picture.
  • Veterans are adaptable and will get on with the job in hand – without waving their job description in the air and refusing to help out.
  • The standards and values that drive individuals to serve enhance the civilian workplace when people transition from the military – meaning veterans are good for everyone’s performance.

Job spot

DHL has a recruitment site for ex-military and hundreds of driving jobs. See bit.ly/3gOKplu

XPO LOGISTICS has 400 roles and is seeking veterans with HGV skills or who want to train as drivers. To find out more and apply, see bit.ly/3wVPbmK.

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