Two contrasting positions have emerged around the career prospects of the more than 3,000 armed forces personnel who were yesterday informed of their redundancies.
Nicholas Harrison, founder of charity Soldier On!, which works to put wounded ex-service people into work, tells Recruiter that “significant numbers” of recruiters tell him that despite being keen to do so, they are unable to access such candidates.
However, a specialist ex-forces recruiter and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are confident in the robustness of procedures for service leavers.
The Army yesterday notified 2,900 personnel of their redundancies, of whom 2,100 had applied for it. The RAF saw 730 redundancies, 515 of whom were applicants, and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines made 170 redundancies – 120 being applicants.
Applicants will serve up to six months' notice before leaving the Armed Forces, while non-applicants will serve up to 12 months' notice. Those who wish to leave earlier can ask their particular service.
This is “the last major tranche of redundancies” for the RAF, Navy and Marines, the MoD says in a statement, adding that all notification letters sent out to those made redundant “will set out clearly the next steps and explain where service personnel can find further advice”.
Paul Lewis, regional director of specialist recruiter Forces Recruitment Services (FRS, is confident that the MoD resettlement procedures work and that his company can access the individuals it wants to work with – with the company getting over 900 CVs a day uploaded to its database, he says.
FRS attends careers fairs for service leavers as an exhibitor, and Lewis tells Recruiter
: “there’s a lot of employers out there that would happily look for military personnel” – as indeed has been shown by previous Recruiter
coverage of ex-forces recruitment drives at employers including event crewing firm Gallowglass
and restaurant chain McDonald’s
An MoD spokesperson tells Recruiter
that its “robust resettlement programme is used by 95% of personnel”, which includes training grants, career transition workshops, CV writing, interview skills and access to training courses, and broader personal and financial support.
“Historically,” the MoD statement says, “92% of those who look for work are in full-time employment within six months of leaving, rising to 97% after 12 months. An estimated 58% of those who have left under Tranche 1 [the first in the current round of redundancies] have already found alternative employment within just three months.”
Harrison tells Recruiter
that he has come into contact with a “noticeable amount of potential recruiters who say… ‘we recognise the benefit of people leaving the armed forces, but we can’t get access to them’ ”.
He adds that one path he frequently sees ex-forces personnel take is to go for a job in something like security or another role that is “not quite right”, but where the specifications for the role are “easily understood”.
Harrison says that a particular problem for wounded service people is that because the army does not subscribe to the equalities act “they can get away with” putting those with injuries or acquired disabilities high up the redundancies list.
This is compounded by the fact that “we live in a world of outsourcing, so many of the roles we would assume someone who had picked up an injury could carry out… have been outsourced”.
Soldier On! was the chosen charity for Recruiter
’s 2011 Awards for Excellence. Speaking to Recruiter
yesterday (12 June), Harrison reports having placed three candidates in logistics roles in Essex that day, with another also holding a job offer.