Almost one fifth of executives said they would be unlikely to employ a veteran.
Almost a fifth of UK employers are unlikely to consider hiring armed forces veterans, according to new research.
A YouGov survey for the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) revealed that 18% of executives with hiring responsibilities would discriminate against veterans due to “negative perceptions” of their former careers.
Of those surveyed, 44% believed that veterans do not have the relevant skills or experience for civilian roles. Others claimed that veterans would not fit into workplace culture (19%), or that skills from active duty may not translate into a business environment (18%).
More than one in ten (11%) worried that veterans may have different levels of education from those expected of civilian workers.
Over a quarter of the organisations polled in the research (27%) had never hired a veteran and 10% of organisations do not believe taking advantage of the skillsets of veterans would bring value to their organisation.
However, nearly two-thirds (63%) of employers believe hiring veterans helps contribute to the diversity of their organization. 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 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 finding employment.
Ray Lock, FiMT chief executive, said: “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. 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.”
FiMT, which supports former servicemen and women transitioning into civilian life, is now calling on the UK Government to strengthen its strategy for translating and accrediting skills, experience and qualifications gained in the Armed Forces for the civilian world.
Mr Lock said: “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.”