Deciding on a new career in the civilian working world can be a daunting prospect for many Service leavers. For those of you facing a resettlement brick wall will perhaps feel that life behind a computer screen just isn’t for you. Maybe you’ve become accustomed to a life outdoors but simply don’t know how to go about exploring this as a career option.
In our recent webinar “Career and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector” OA career consultant Clive Lowe was joined by Anna Baker Cresswell, Founder and Development Director of HighGround, to discuss options and why you shouldn’t resign yourself to a future in the office…
Prior to starting HighGround in 2013, Anna worked with a charity providing horticultural therapy to the military. She developed HighGround as a charity with the mission to provide jobs, careers and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector for Service leavers, Reservists and Veterans. The charity provides support and advice from its offices in Westminster as well as running Rural Weeks – courses specifically created to introduce attendees to their areas of interest.
“We have an ever increasing network of industry contacts” Anna comments. She was delighted with our webinar poll results, where voting showed that 88% of participants thought there was a serious skills shortage in forestry, agriculture and horticulture. ‘I’m very pleased it is widely understood that the shortage in skills needs addressing – the point of starting the charity would have been slightly beside the point if that were not the case!’
An ex-Argyll officer now working in Norfolk and farming 6,000 acres recently told Anna that the agricultural industry sees in its employees many of the key capabilities associated with the military. However “the current average age of the UK’s rural work force is a shocking 59” remarks Anna and after being featured in a recent Farmers Weekly magazine, the charity received an astounding response from readers across the UK. “We received huge amounts of interest from a variety of employers, from salmon farms to arable farmers in Suffolk. The opportunities made available to us were a testament to how valued the work of ex-military personnel is. It was nothing short of extraordinary.”
If the prospect of working in an office doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps HighGround can help. Think of the outdoors. Are you happy to work in all kinds of weather? Does the thought of every day being different excite you? And are you adaptable, motivated, resilient and resourceful?
Once a difficult industry to get into for Service leavers, the land-based sector is now far more accessible thanks to charities like HighGround. “We act as the middleman between ex-Service personnel who don’t want to work in an office and employers who haven’t the necessary resources to find skilled staff from a military background” says Anna.
Follow the link to listen to the full webinar on ‘Career and vocational opportunities in the land-based sector’.
– 07951 495 272