Deloitte UK along with the Officers’ Association and supported by Business in the Community, have produced a series of films to encourage UK employers to consider veterans as part of their hiring strategy. Entitled ‘Veterans Work’, the films include appearances from well-known actors Joanna Lumley, Ray Winstone and Richard Wilson. The actors all gave their time freely to shine a light on the struggle that many service leavers face when looking for work.
The films bring to life the findings of the Veterans Work study, produced by leading professional services firm Deloitte, in association with the Officers’ Association and the Forces in Mind Trust. The study revealed that while 71% of employers say they would consider employing veterans, just 39% would employ someone without industry specific experience; often a major stumbling block for veterans who have only known military service.
When it came to define the term ‘veteran’, additional polling carried out by Deloitte and the Officers’ Association, found that there was a ‘chronic lack of understanding’ among civilians. 2,000 British adults were asked what challenges they thought armed forces veterans might face when entering the civilian workplace. The results revealed that 65% of respondents thought veterans would probably suffer from some form of physical, emotional or mental health issue such as PTSD, despite official Government statistics showing that only 4% of Service leavers suffer from the condition – broadly equivalent to the incidence rate amongst the civilian population.
The series was produced by The Drive Project whose Founder, Alice Driver was behind the award-winning West-End stage show, The Two Worlds of Charlie F. She explains:
“The films are a creative interpretation of the Veterans Work report produced by Deloitte, the Officer’s Association and FiMT. It is wonderful to have support from famous faces, business leaders and the veterans themselves to highlight this report. I hope these films continue to change perceptions and help raise awareness of the transferable skills that veterans have and the positive impact they can have on employer’s businesses.”
Chris Recchia, Deloitte Partner and Head of the company’s ex-military employment programme, explains why they took on the project:
“With no formal A-Levels or degree, but 13 years of military Service, someone took a gamble on me 17 years ago. I’m proud to say I am now a partner with a firm that is part of the world’s largest professional services network. Since we started our ex-military employment programme at Deloitte, we have employed over 200 veterans, all of whom have flourished and all of whom I can say unequivocally, have made a significant contribution to this business’s bottom line.”
Earlier this year Business in the Commununity published a toolkit for employers looking to hire ex-military personell. Employment Director Catherine Sermon explains why the Drive project is so important:
“At a time when many employers are suffering skills shortages and recruitment challenges, veterans can represent an attractive talent pool. But employers need to take more active, yet simple, steps if they want to be more armed-forces friendly.”