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Lessons from the Army. Part 1: Hiring ex-forces personnel


Charlotte Roberts

By Charlotte Roberts, Recruitment Consultant, Engineering Trades at Escape Recruitment Services

Get in touch: forces@escaperecruitment.com 

Read part 2 here

This week, I was invited to attend “Meet the Army” event at The Howden Centre in Livingston by , which had one clear message, employees with military experience—whether veterans, service leavers, or reservists—possess unique skills and experiences that employers can't afford to overlook.

The speaker, an army educational trainer at Harrogate for 27 years, hoped we would leave having learnt at least one thing we didn’t know before. I’ll be honest, I think I learnt at least a dozen new things and with a renewed commitment to supporting our ex-forces candidates I thought where better to start than by sharing some of these lessons here:

Diverse Career Paths

The Army offers a wider range of career paths than even I realised, including veterinary science, dentistry, cyber communications, logistics, HR, and finance.

Mechanical Engineering

As a technical recruiter, I was particularly pleased to learn about the extensive training and skills development provided to electrical and mechanical engineers in the army.

Reality of Army Life

It’s hard to break the image of army life being on the front line with a gun but it really is so much more diverse and it's something we need to remember as hirers.

Translating Experience for Civilian Careers

Real life examples, such as Electrical and Mechanical Engineers being dropped in by helicopter to fix a tank in situ in an active combat area is certainly not something you see on most CVs so it’s up to recruiters to recognise the underlying skills and behaviours behind these experiences.

Transition Training

Service leavers have access to a £5,000 training fund to support their transition to civilian life. This fund can be used up to five years after the leaver begins their transition process, allowing them to gain necessary skills and certifications. Employers should definitely take note of this valuable resource.

Age Limitations

On a lighter note, I learned I’m too old to enlist myself! While I admit the evening made this career path something I may have been tempted by in another life, Escape can relax, the cut-off age is 45—so no helicopter jumps to repair a tank for me!

A huge thanks to the Career Transition Partnership and the Army presenters. This event has equipped me with valuable insights to better support our ex-forces candidates, and I look forward to sharing these lessons with my team.

Get in touch: forces@escaperecruitment.com 
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Posted by: Escape Recruitment Services