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).
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."