Employment for veterans Q&A

What makes veterans excellent employees?

As a result of previous experience veterans can illustrate excellent time-keeping skills and an ability to meet deadlines.

In addition, many veterans have specialist skills that are in high demand in lucrative sectors such as the aircraft industry, but also in small businesses.

Read our guide about transferring your Service skills to the civilian job market.

How should veterans prepare for the civilian job market?

It is important to work on your CV and prepare for interviews. Organisations such as Career Transition Partnership (0203 162 4410) and RFEA The Employment Charity (0121 262 3058), offer employment support and training to veterans and their families, so make sure to explore these avenues.

The CTP also offer Right Job, an online job board.

Veterans' Gateway (0808 802 1212) can also help veterans get in touch with specialist employment partners.

What are the main challenges for veterans in the job market?

Veterans, especially those with mental health issues, may be reluctant to look for work because they think employers do not understand military culture and they will not be able to cope in a non-military environment.

However, more and more employers are open to hiring veterans and their HR departments will research military culture to help veterans settle in.

Can veterans with mental health issues find employment?

We know that many veterans with PTSD and other mental health issues are in employment. CTP have listed helpful guides for industries popular with veterans including construction, engineering and health and safety.

Many veterans remain in public sector roles in the Emergency Services, for instance, because it allows them to serve their community, wear a uniform and settle into a routine in a specific area.

Stable employment is a good coping mechanism as it keeps veterans engaged and allows them to feel a sense of worth. Working offers a solid structure for dealing with mental health problems.

There are programmes to help veterans with mental health problems find work and improve their skills, such as the one ran by Poppy Factory (020 8939 1837).

Most importantly, veterans need to know that employers would not stigmatise them. Employers value your experience and commitment.

Watch Paul's story below. Paul is a veteran himself and a Veterans' Gateway adviser. With help from Combat Stress, he recovered from PTSD and is now helping other veterans get better and find work.

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