The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), established to help Service men and women make a successful transition back to civilian life, has awarded a grant to Futures 4 Forces, a not-for-profit research organisation, to conduct a qualitative research programme into the employability of ex-Service personnel.

The programme will explore the recruitment needs of both large businesses and SMEs throughout the UK and their requirements from ex-Service Personnel. For the first time this type of research will involve interviewing Senior HR Directors, who will be asked about their experiences and perceptions of the ex-Service personnel’s employability.

Extensive research has been conducted into the long-term unemployed and injured ex-Service personnel but so far only limited research has been done into employers’ needs in recruiting Service leavers.

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) was established in 2012 with a £35m endowment from the Big Lottery Fund in order to improve the success of Service men and women, and their families, returning to civilian life, a process known as transition.

Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust says: “The current economic climate means that the job market is extremely competitive. This type of research into the perceptions of potential employers of ex-Service Personnel has never been done before. This is exactly what FiMT was established to do and we look forward to seeing the research findings, which we will promote widely across the sector”.

Futures 4 Forces (F4F) was set up by Andrew Tillard with the aim to support Service leavers and the wider community of ex-Service personnel get into employment.  The research team will conduct in-depth interviews with a representative sample across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Research findings will be available later this year.


For interview requests, photos or more information, please contact Alice Farrow at The PR Office on / mobile:  07788 540 924 / direct dial: 0207 284 6955

About The Forces in Mind Trust

The concept of the Forces in Mind Trust arose from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (BIG), COBSEO (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations.

In addition to COBSEO Members, key supporting charities are: The Mental Health Foundation, Centre for Mental Health and Shaw Trust.

Other projects FiMT is currently funding:

  • About The Warrior Programme

The Warrior Programme, a non-clinical training and education programme for veterans who are experiencing serious problems adjusting to civilian living, has embarked on a partnership with Southampton University to undertake a Randomised Control Trial (RCT), funded by the Forces in Mind Trust, to evaluate the programme’s impact on the transition of Service personnel into civilian life.

  • Future Horizons

The Future Horizons Programme was set up in 2012 to offer resettlement support, information and guidance to soldiers leaving the Army who are classed as Early Service Leavers (ESLs). The programme, which is focussed in and around the Catterick Garrison area, the largest British Army garrison in the world, aims to ensure that ESLs make a successful transition back into civilian life and find full time employment.

  • SSAFA FH Mentoring

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help provides practical help and assistance to anyone who is serving or has ever served in the Royal Navy, British Army or Royal Air Force. Their network of volunteers and staff give experienced, non-judgmental advice. They also provide practical services that cover a range of social, family and financial issues.

FiMT’s Research Projects:

In order to help improve the understanding of transition and the welfare support available to members of the Armed forces, veterans and their families, FiMT is currently funding two major research projects:

  • Transition mapping: mapping the whole transition process and identifying any gaps in understanding the mental health of veterans.
  • Mental Health Review: a report to review the research evidence to date surrounding the mental health of serving and ex-Service military personnel in the UK

The findings of these projects will be published in mid-2013.

The information gathered from the research projects will shape the potential for further study, by building up knowledge, evidence and information. The research will make a direct contribution towards improving support provided to members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

The Big Lottery Fund (BIG)

The Forces in Mind Trust continues BIG’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK. Since 2004 the Fund has given more than £88 million to programmes supporting veterans.