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How one charity is helping veterans find their feet in the workplace

New research shows veterans lack confidence in the skills their military experience has equipped them with.

Around 15,000 people leave the UK Armed Forces every year and for many it’s a dauting transition followed by a big question: what next?

After serving their country, many ex-servicemen and women are highly trained and in possession of particularly rare and useful skills. Yet many find it hard to recognise what could attract them to an employer now they are a civilian.

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RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity, has carried out new research which shows veterans are all too critical of themselves – lacking confidence in the skills their military experience has equipped them with and underestimating their potential as a result.

Often this leads to individuals instantly disqualifying themselves from employment opportunities they may well end up thriving in.

The findings showed 1 in 3 veterans (33%) struggle to identify their relevant skills and articulate them during an interview and 2 in 5 veterans (40%) would like guidance on how to better recognise the transferable skills they have. A further 1 in 3 veterans (33%) say they’d like help improving confidence levels around what they can ‘bring to the table’.

Moreover, 1 in 3 veterans (33%) say they would like help with funding for training and other career development opportunities, even though this may not be necessary to finding an appropriate role.

RFEA provides a one-to-one support service to make sure veterans have everything they need to showcase the value and relevance of their experience to employers.

RFEA’s CEO, Alistair Halliday believes a career in the military develops so many important skills, such as resilience, accountability, teamwork, and an ability to be trained.

Having served in HMS Manchester twice and got the ship the freedom of the City, Alistair knows all too well what the transition into ‘normal’ life can be like.

47-year-old John Killeen served in the RAF and was having problems getting interviews for jobs he was qualified for. He got in touch with the charity for support on how to write his CQ as well as interview skills and is now employed in a role he enjoys.

John is now encouraging other veterans to do the same.