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Veteran - Veteran

Officers’ Association reveal research on understanding service leavers 50+

New research published by the Officers' Association has found that despite the skills and experiences ex-services personnel offer, over a third of 50+ Service leavers reported experiencing ageism, anti-military bias or both, when looking for civilian work and 1 in 5 are working in non-permanent positions such as casual employment, some because they are unable to find sustainable long-term employment.

The published research: ‘Understanding Service Leavers aged 50+’ was funded by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and delivered by the Centre for Older Workers (CROW) for the Officers’ Association (OA) and represents the results of a series of intensive interviews and workshops.

This timely project investigates the experiences and attitudes of Service leavers aged 50+ as they transition from military to civilian employment, exploring the challenges faced across all ranks. The report comes at a vital time where the Coronavirus pandemic has made the job market extremely uncertain but where firms will need the versatility and skills of ex-services personnel to help their recovery.

The report calls for a consolidated approach between our Armed Forces, MOD, employers and charitable stakeholders in developing a programme to enable older workers to find the right arrangements for their final years of work. It advocates an extension of diversity and inclusion policies and practices to help combat bias against 50+ Service leavers. Furthermore, The Centre for Ageing Better reports that over 800,000 people in the UK aged between 50 and 65 want to be working but are not, and that getting them into the right employment could contribute £18 billion worth of GDP. Fixing this could unlock significant benefits for the UK economy as it looks to rebuild in the aftermath of the Covid-19 economic shock.

Lee Holloway, CEO, Officers' Association commented: “One age group consistently stands out as experiencing increased difficulties in moving from military to civilian employment – those aged 50 years and over. While there is a growing body of evidence testifying to the barriers facing all veterans seeking employment, none has examined the hurdles faced by this age group. More needs to be done to align the needs of older veterans available and wanting to work for longer with the quality and diversity of the work on offer. This report adds to the recent momentum in wider society of supporting and highlighting the special skills and experiences of our country’s veterans, now we must support them as they have supported us.”

Source: Officers’ Association