Presenting individuals who ‘get stuff done’ to Federation of Small Businesses

Peter Liddle, the Business Development Manager in the North for the Officers’ Association, was invited in to speak to the Harrogate Branch of the Federation of Small Business earlier this month. During the presentation he provided an introduction to the charity; an overview of the skills and experiences an employer would gain from employing a former officer and suggested how small business could benefit from working with service leavers.

Officers leaving the Armed Forces are a diverse group; ranging from mid-20s up to 55 years old; a mix of technical backgrounds such as engineering, logistics, IT and communications, for example and non-technical backgrounds such as infantry, warfare or artillery. There are many commonalities: including value-based leadership, planning, team building, communication and more. However, a simple way of understanding an officer is to think of them as individuals who ‘get stuff done’, something that is of high value to small business owners.

Access to high calibre talent

The OA provides access to these high calibre job seekers through their free Executive Jobs Board, and businesses can also take advantage of the resettlement package provided by the MOD. Each service leaver, depending on their length of service, is entitled to Enhanced Learning Credits which can be used to gain relevant qualifications to help them secure a second career. How many other employees essentially come with a ready made training budget?

Work Experience Programmes

A service leaver is also allowed a certain amount of time, through their Graduated Resettlement Time, to spend with an employer to gain work experience. An attachment, anything from a day to several weeks, is beneficial for the service leaver to learn about an industry. It is also useful for an employer to have an extended look at a service leaver and decide if and how that individual could fit into organisation.

Furthermore, someone on an attachment can be – and often is – allocated a small project; reviewing the organisational structure or logistics of the business, for example, and providing recommendations. Again the service leaver gains experience and a case study to build their CV, while the business benefits from free advice from a highly trained individual. This is something that large organisations across the UK are taking advantage and it is something that small businesses can also access.


For more information:

Follow our LinkedIn #Militaryisgoodforbusiness page.

If you are seeking high calibre managers for your business, then please consider a military officer and send your job specification – including salary range and closing date – through to

If you would like to discuss taking advantage of the workplace attachments, then please contact Peter Liddle on