Forces in Mind Trust has awarded £42,000 to X-Forces Enterprises (XFE) for a new project which aims to highlight the benefits of employing veterans to small businesses in the UK.
XFE will work with Trade Associations and Membership Bodies (TAMBs) to encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to explore and support veterans’ employment.
Following an earlier FiMT micro-grant, XFE undertook a mapping exercise to understand the current engagement of TAMBs with veterans and the Armed Forces Covenant. It found that while larger employers were already engaged, there are still thousands of smaller companies yet to be reached who may not be considering veterans as a source of talent for their business.
This new project will aim to engage some of the 1.4 million SME employers using TAMB networks, to promote the value of employing veterans. A regular forum and digital workspace will be developed to discuss ideas and share resources, toolkits and guides.
Thomas McBarnet, Director of Programmes at Forces in Mind Trust, said “Ex-Service personnel can and do make fantastic employees in the civilian job market – but in addition to barriers that prevent veteran job-seekers from finding the right employment, there are knowledge and understanding gaps and hiring process barriers which prevent smaller organisations from accessing this talent pool. We hope X-Forces Enterprise’s work on this project will lead to SME employers becoming more confident and used to attracting and employing veterans, unlocking the potential of this group and leading to greater employment opportunities for veterans and Service leavers.”
Martin Wing, Chairman of X-Forces Enterprise, said: “There are over 240,000 SME employers who create and sustain jobs for 7.5M people across the UK. That is a lot of small employers who can benefit from the talents within the armed forces community. Trade Associations and Membership Bodies provide an ideal channel to get great employment messages to lots of these employers quickly and efficiently. There are things they can all learn from one another. Through this piece of work we can create the frameworks and relationships to bring these learnings to life”.