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Policy Statement on Employment

This Statement sets out FiMT’s policy position on the employment of ex-Service personnel and their families. It provides an overview of the evidence that exists to support it, the issues that inform it, and the changes that are needed to achieve it.

Click here to download FiMT’s Policy Statement on Employment.

VETERANS FACE NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES WHEN APPLYING FOR JOBS

Nearly one fifth (18%) of UK organizations surveyed are unlikely to consider hiring veterans due to negative perceptions of their time spent in the Armed Forces.

Veterans, or those who have served in the Armed Forces, face negative stereotypes when applying for jobs, according to a survey released today (8th October) by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT). The new YouGov survey reveals nearly one fifth (18%) of UK senior decision makers with hiring responsibilities are unlikely to consider hiring veterans, mostly due to negative perceptions of their time spent in the Armed Forces.

Of the negative perceptions held by potential employers, the most common is that veterans do not have the relevant skills or experience (44%). This is followed by a belief that they may not fit the culture of the workplace (19%); skills from active duty may not translate into a business environment (18%); or they may have different levels of education from those expected of civilian workers (11%).

Over a quarter of the organisations polled in the research (27%) have never hired a veteran and 10% of organisations don’t believe taking advantage of the skillsets of veterans would bring value to their organisation. However, nearly two-thirds (63%) of employers polled in the survey believe hiring veterans helps contribute to the diversity of their organization. The smaller organizations polled in the survey ranked as the least likely to consider hiring a veteran (65%) whilst the larger organizations ranked as most likely (87%).

The Veteran Employment research was commissioned by FiMT, whose mission is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. Over 1,000 senior decision makers were polled in the research, including private, public and third sector organizations of all sizes.

The research is part of FiMT’s core Employment Programme which aims to ensure that no ex-Service person, or their spouse or partner, is disadvantaged in achieving a successful employment outcome. The FiMT Employment Programme is focused on bringing about change in two areas:

• Ex-Service personnel having the right skills and understanding, receiving the right support and preparing appropriately.

• Employers understanding the skills and potential of Service leavers, and being able to access and harness the veteran workforce.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive at FiMT says:

“The fact that many organizations would not consider hiring veterans due to negative perceptions of their time spent serving in the Armed Forces, highlights the misunderstanding that veterans are unskilled or unfit for business environments. Such misunderstandings are unfounded and damaging to veterans’ employment opportunities. Employers must ensure these unhelpful perceptions are addressed in their recruitment processes, so that they benefit from the skills that veterans can bring to their organization.”

“Veterans gain strong leadership, communications, management and STEM skills from their time spent serving in the Armed Forces. As the UK currently faces a STEM skills shortage, and the evolving world of work cries out for better leadership and collaboration, employers would do well to tap into veterans’ talent to the benefit of both veterans and UK organizations.”

“Our research demonstrates that Government must strengthen its strategy for translating and accrediting skills, experience and qualifications gained in the Armed Forces for the civilian world. We need to increase awareness and understanding among civilian employers of how Service leavers’ skills fit their recruitment needs. Together these will help the annual 14,000 Service leavers to find fulfilling employment, and the many UK businesses to improve their performance.”

Andrew Armes, UK Head of Talent Acquisition, Roche Products Ltd says:

“At Roche we believe that inclusivity is the key to our business success as it underpins innovation. Veterans have valuable skills that will help us with our future business needs and transformation as a business. By tackling any negative perceptions and attitudinal issues we can learn a lot. We are delighted to be partnering with Forces in Mind Trust to help address stereotypes and help unlock potential.”

During the first month of the Employment Programme, FiMT is partnering with Roche, the multinational healthcare company, to host a conference on 8th October challenging employers’ negative stereotypes of veterans. Following this, FiMT will host an event for senior politicians and business leaders to galvanise action.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Ray Lock is available for interview. To arrange please contact James Gillies at james@amazonpr.co.uk / 020 7700 6952 or Ana Carvallo-Phillips, Ana@amazonpr.co.uk / 020 7700 6952.

About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

Useful links:

Website: www.fim-trust.org
Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/
Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/
Twitter: @FiMTrust
About the Mental Health Research Programme: www.fim-trust.org/mental-health/research-programme/

About the research:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1282 adults who are senior decision makers with responsibility in HR in UK businesses. Fieldwork was undertaken between 5th – 18th September 2019. The survey was carried out online.

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Implementation of pilot mental fitness initiative to be evaluated

The implementation of a pilot mental fitness initiative, named HeadFIT, is to be evaluated over 12-months by King’s College London thanks to a grant of £92,757 awarded by the Forces in Mind Trust.

The initiative has been developed collaboratively by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Royal Foundation to promote awareness and management of good mental fitness within the Armed Forces Community and to prevent the onset of poor mental health.

The mental fitness initiative will be delivered via the mental health and well-being approach for Defence people and incorporated into annual and key career leadership training, supported by a video led campaign and website with self-help tools to aid in the understanding and awareness of mental fitness, and help personnel to maximise their potential.

The evaluation will consist of a series of questionnaires, interviews and focus groups with Defence people as well as with key stakeholders, to assess the acceptability and feasibility of the different elements of the initiative for military and Defence personnel. Results will be analysed to identify potential improvements to both the initiative and its implementation, prior to the full-scale roll-out across the Armed Forces.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive, Forces in Mind Trust, said: “The initiative developed by the MOD and The Royal Foundation is a progressive step in supporting the mental health of our Armed Forces. The evaluation of HeadFIT, funded by FiMT, will enable us to better understand what works in practice to support the mental well-being of our Service personnel during, and in the transition out of, service.”

Dr Sharon Stevelink, Lead Researcher, King’s College London, said: “We are looking forward to working with the MOD and The Royal Foundation to ensure that this initiative is independently evaluated. The aim of our evaluation is to help to improve the programme and ensure the initiative reaches its full potential. The study builds on our previous work evaluating health and well-being interventions in the Armed Forces and other trauma-exposed organisations. We are excited to be able to continue to help improve the mental fitness and readiness of military personnel throughout their military careers and beyond.”

Representative MOD, said: “The MOD has undertaken a comprehensive overhaul in our approach to mental health, beginning at the outset through promoting positive mental health and well-being, providing leadership support and reassurance regarding the effective treatment available.

We cannot do this alone, working with our partners outside of Defence is critical to getting this right. The importance of collaboration and partnerships with organisations such as FiMT, the Royal Foundation and King’s College London remain key to continuing our sustained focus on mental health and well-being ensuring that Life in the Services remains a rich and rewarding experience.”

David Wiseman, The Royal Foundation, Head of Programmes: Supporting Those Who Serve, said:

“This is an important programme; a legacy from the Heads Together Campaign that we hope will change the way Defence People think about mental health.  The focus of this work is the good management of good mental fitness – what should everyone be doing every day to proactively look after themselves and to unlock there potential instead of considering our mental health only when there is a problem.

The evaluation conducted by King’s College London will provide information that will enhance this work, and everyone is grateful that the Forces in Mind Trust are able to support this research.”

-Ends-

About King’s College London

King’s College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2017/18 QS World University Rankings) and among the oldest in England. King’s has more than 26,500 students (of whom nearly 10,400 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and nearly 6,900 staff. The university is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate. http://www.kcl.ac.uk

About Forces in Mind Trust
FiMT came about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/.

The mission of FiMT is to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. FiMT delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery, and by strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector through collaboration and leadership, and by building its capacity.

FiMT awards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better-informed decisions can be made.

Useful links
Website: www.fim-trust.org
Reports: www.fim-trust.org/reports/
Who we have helped: www.fim-trust.org/who-we-have-helped/
Twitter: @FiMTrust