Veterans Work provided one of the first employment-led studies into the value of hiring veterans. Ahead of the July launch of Veterans Work: The Podcast, the OA highlights the vital message driving this collaboration forward.
Since the launch of the seminal Veterans Work report in 2016, the collaborators behind this growing brand remain confident of its findings.
As a reminder, the original report evidenced the tangible benefits for UK business hiring veterans; over half of those employing veterans stated they tended to be promoted quickly, 79% said they have a lower sickness absence than civilian employees, and 72% said they would recommend employing veterans. Crucially, 90% of organisations saw veterans performing well in 20 of the 25 skill areas examined in the report.
Determined to share these positive report findings with a wider employer audience and Service leavers themselves, Veterans Work has further evolved to drive home its messages. A series of films created with The Drive Project at the helm secured household names to help ensure the films were viewed beyond the confines of the military community. The likes of Joanna Lumley, Ray Winstone, Larry Lamb and Richard Wilson didn’t need much persuading to participate.
These short films ensured the results from that first report went one step further in challenging employers to look beyond what can sometimes be their own rigid hiring criteria to help recognise the skills and training military personnel can bring to a role. Instead, companies are urged to take a longer-term view of their workforce needs to harness the transferrable skills veterans offer.
A follow-up report entitled ‘Moving On’ documented the pre-conceived ideas about veterans and where and how they wanted to live and work throughout the UK and then a live debate in 2020 sought once again, to dispel the myths surrounding veteran hires.
Now, as the UK emerges post-pandemic and businesses focus on their future work plans, Veterans Work is launching a timely reminder about the value of recruiting and employing veterans. Delivered via a series of five podcasts, the message is loud and clear; business can mitigate against future disruption by looking at the veteran talent pool for future hires. A veteran talent pool that is estimated to number 2.6 million with 900,000 men and women of working age.
Laura Blair, Director of Employment at the OA and a former Army Major, feels privileged to have taken part in this latest iteration of Veterans Work: The Podcast and explains:
“The Podcast series consists of five episodes featuring industry experts, veterans and business leaders working succinctly to bring to life veterans’ values, purpose and stories. Each episode features a unique combination of guests able to highlight the skills, attributes and training veterans take with them into the workplace. Topics cover the veteran employment narrative, values and purpose, resilient people, skills for the future and the campaign’s calls to action.”
The Podcast series also offers valuable advice to those getting ready to transition from military careers and recognises that leaving the forces is the start of another journey. Listeners will hear from speakers offering insights into how they can fulfil their potential in the right civilian role and gather advice on selling your background and training to potential employers. Episodes discuss how surrounding yourself with a good support team helps in transition. Guests also talk about the value of mentoring and access to organisations like the OA and the CTP to provide advice and employment support. Plus, there are pointers on how to seek out military-friendly employers signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant.
Deloitte, the OA and the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) provide the framework behind Veterans Work but what sets the Veterans Work series apart is the collaborative effort it has galvanised. The team is working with the Ministry of Defence, specifically MOD Defence Relationship Management and Defence People, and the Office for Veteran Affairs (OVA). The Drive Project, known for their use of the arts in their extensive work with veterans, are the creative team behind the production of the series. Podcast introductions are also given by the Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Doherty MP, and there will be familiar voices with Joanna Lumley, Rory Underwood, Ray Winstone and Lt Gen James Swift, Chief of Defence People contributing, supported by WW2 veteran Paratrooper Jimmy Knox.
Veterans Work is part of the Deloitte Military Transition and Talent Programme recognised at the highest levels through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award. Former Army Captain, Chris Recchia, Partner at Deloitte, is passionate about veteran employment and said, “Veterans still face the issue of employers not realising their full potential, their transferrable skills and how easily they can be retrained. Progress is being made, but there is more to do if we are to make the UK the best place to be a Veteran.”
Lee Holloway, Chief Executive Officer of the OA, summarises the outcome he wants to see from the Podcast series and concludes, “Employers should no longer ignore the wealth of veteran talent that is available on the UK’s doorstep. The appetite of these men and women to contribute their skills, abilities and ‘can-do’ approach to business only serves to underlie what we already know – to be the best in the business you must employ the best. Look no further.”
The podcasts consist of audio and video recordings and will be available to stream and download free on all Veterans Work channels, including YouTube, and wherever you get your podcasts from July 7, 2021. www.veteranswork.org.uk
The Veterans Work’ campaign is now in its fifth year and has produced the following outputs:
2016 – Veterans Work report ‘Recognising the potential of ex-service personnel’
2017 – Veterans Work: The Films
2018 – Veterans Work report ‘Moving On’
2020 – Veterans Work: The Debate