OA to develop new training programme with BITC to help employers become military friendly

The Officers’ Association is developing a new training programme, in conjunction with Business in the Community (BITC), which aims to support businesses to develop sustainable military employment programmes.

The structured training will help employers to understand the benefits of hiring ex-military personnel. According to research by Deloitte, the OA and FIMT, 72% of organisations with active ex-military recruitment programmes recommend employing veterans; 53% of organisations that employ veterans find they are promoted more quickly than other colleagues and 79% find they take less sick leave. Yet despite the rewards, employers often struggle to recognise veterans’ skills when recruiting.

The training course will therefore support participating organisations to develop internal processes and programmes for working with Veterans and compliment the OA’s existing resources for employers and its Employers Network. These encourage best practice and provide practical advice, support, toolkits and peer-to-peer support. The new programme is aimed at HR and CR professionals as well as line managers working in a diverse range of sectors.

Liz Stevens, OA Head of Employment Services, said: “I am delighted that we are able to work with BITC to develop a new programme for employers. We know that former officers make great employees, but organisations can find it difficult to capitalise on their skills. Our new programme will make the process considerably easier.”

Cath Sermon, Employment Director at Business in the Community, said: “Many businesses that are part of a military supply chain, or facing a specific skills shortage prompting them to look more widely for talent, have begun to consider the ex-military community as a potential source of talent. However, this talent pool represents a great opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes, particularly those finding it hard to recruit. We are excited to be working with the OA to help businesses take practical steps to attract, recruit and retain ex-Service personnel.”

This is the first collaboration between the OA and BITC. For 18 months we have shared knowledge and expertise, ensuring the programme will be relevant and meaningful.
BITC is the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, engaging with thousands of businesses to help create a fairer society and a sustainable future. It is experienced in supporting individuals into work, through practical business-led programmes and recently published the report ‘Capitalising on military talent’ in March 2017.

For more information about the programme, please email Sophia Koniarska.