UK public and employers back “dedicated” veterans in new research poll

JMMinister Mercer on a visit to meeting veterans who work for Barclays, central London.
  • New polling of more than 12,000 people finds that the majority of the general public and employers have positive views of veterans
  • Employers view veterans as having a strong work ethic, and being resilient and dedicated.
  • Veterans’ Affairs Minister Johnny Mercer visited Barclays  today to meet ex-military staff who have transitioned successfully into civilian life

The public and employers have given their backing to veterans of the UK Armed Forces, in a new study by YouGov into perceptions of former  military personnel.

The study, which will help shape future policy initiatives, showed that 71% of employers believed that veterans have a strong work ethic, whilst a vast majority of fellow employees said that veterans are resilient and would welcome working alongside them.

YouGov’s report, commissioned by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, asked more than 12,000 members of the public, as well as employers, healthcare professionals and members of the media across of the UK about their perceptions of armed forces veterans, their views on how veterans are treated after they leave service, and their opinion on veterans are portrayed in the media.

Employers also highlighted that there are significant potential benefits from using the skills that veterans have acquired in order to fulfil skill gaps across many industries.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer said:

“Whilst the majority of veterans transition seamlessly to civilian life, some need additional help. This study will be vital to shaping our strategy to get our veterans into work after their time serving this country.

“It shows the willingness of employers across the country to take full advantage of the opportunity that these skilled individuals can provide.”

Today, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer visited Barclays, to meet with senior leaders and veterans and discuss their successful veterans employment programme. The visit was an opportunity for the minister to hear first hand from the veterans and discuss their successful transition into civilian life, and how others can be helped to find employment post-military service.

The report also makes a number of recommendations, including stepping up working with employers to provide them with more information and guidance, particularly focussing on the diverse range of skills and benefits ex-serveice personnel can bring to employers. The report also says that misconceptions around mental health in the veteran community should be tackled, with more communications around the challenges veterans do and do not face.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the wider government already have a number of programmes in place to boost veterans employment. These include:

  • Businesses and other organisations employing veterans in their first civilian receiving a one year National Insurance holiday. The tax holiday further incentivises employers to take advantage of the wide range of skills and experience that ex-military personnel offer.
  • Promoting opportunities for service leavers and veterans to go into careers with the uniformed and health services, as well as teaching
  • Launching the Going Forward Into Employment scheme, to provide a clear pathway for veterans, military partners and spouses who need extra support into employment and other opportunities in the public sector
  • The Great Place to Work Scheme, where more than 840 Civil Service jobs have been offered to veterans since the start of 2020.

You can read the full report here.

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