Members of the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and British Army

Military veterans worth £1.5bn to UK economy

19 July 2017

More than one in five (22%) armed forces leavers face employment challenges, resulting in a potential loss of £1.5bn to the economy.

Barclays is calling on other employers to recognise the value that veterans can bring to the UK workforce, publishing new research that highlights how ex-military employees could help to plug UK skills shortage, by filling one in six predicted vacancies.

The study reveals that the UK economy could suffer losses of up to £1.5bn in the next five years if service leavers can’t find employment, or are under-employed upon leaving the armed forces.

It calculates the direct and indirect contribution of up to 85,000 personnel that are estimated to leave the military by 2021; a figure equivalent to the number of people 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 a further 12% will be under-employed (where their skills are under-utilised by employers).

Office business meeting at Barclays HQ, London

Barclays plays a significant role in supporting service leavers successfully move to civilian employment.

It’s a founding member of the Veterans Employment Transition Support (VETS) programme and operates the hugely successful Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment & Resettlement (AFTER) programme, that has supported over 5,000 service leavers and hired nearly 500 ex-military personnel into a range of jobs across the company since 2010.

Previous Barclays research has shown that ex-military personnel often face a number of 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.

Stuart Tootal, Head of the Barclays 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.

"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."

Will Smethurst

Will Smethurst

Will was injured in an IED blast whilst serving as a Troop Commander in Afghanistan in 2012 and spent the next 18 months recovering from his injuries in Headley Court. Whilst there, he secured an AFTER placement and joined Barclays in December 2013 in the Chief of Staff’s team in Wealth.

Whilst he was on his placement, he got the opportunity to network around the business and get invaluable first-hand experience of financial services. Subsequently, he interviewed for and successfully secured a role as a Business Analyst in Barclays WIM, where he is responsible for delivering large transformation change products within Wealth.

Latest news