Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £7,500 to X-Forces Enterprise to research and map business membership organisations and trade associations as part of a drive to improve employment opportunities for ex-Service personnel within small and medium sized businesses.

The research, jointly funded by X-Forces Enterprise, will ultimately assess how businesses can best employ ex-Service personnel and benefit from their skills. It will also identify the most suitable career opportunities for former Service personnel. Initially through desk research, a survey and focus groups, the project will map trade bodies, organisations and networks, identify the leading bodies within each sector, and examine any existing engagement with the Armed Forces community.

This is the first phase in a larger project to encourage businesses to employ ex-Service personnel. The award was made under FiMT’s Employment Programme and this first phase is expected to be conducted over two months.

FiMT are committed to supporting the Armed Forces community throughout and beyond COVID-19 and this includes the continuation of funding to much needed projects such as this grant. The latest FiMT COVID-19 response can be found here.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of FiMT, says: “Previous research has highlighted a lack of understanding among businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, about the benefits of employing ex-Service personnel. This project will provide us with a strong foundation upon which to formulate an engagement plan which will target key organisations in each sector. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure organisations are better informed and are involved in the employment of ex-Service personnel. We want employers to understand that engagement with the Armed Forces community makes good business sense. As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, it will be important for us as a nation to make the very best of the talent we have.”

Ren Kapur, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of X-Forces Enterprise, says: “Employment opportunities within the SME sector are just as varied and as exciting as they are within large corporate organisations. The business owners we typically work with are already well aware of the benefits of recruiting from the military community. Through this project this message can be amplified to the wider SME sector utilising a variety of trade bodies and business networks. We are delighted to be working with FiMT and extending the reach of what we can do for the community. This effort combined with other recommendations made through ‘A Force for Business*’ ensures a multi-faceted approach to dealing with this large scale opportunity”.

*A Force For Business: Service Leavers and Small Businesses, Federation of Small Businesses, June 2019.