Forces in Mind Trust funds business mapping exercise to boost veterans’ employment

Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded £7,500 to X-Forces Enterprise to research and map business membership organisations and trade associations as part of a drive to improve employment opportunities for ex-Service personnel within small and medium sized businesses.

The research, jointly funded by X-Forces Enterprise, will ultimately assess how businesses can best employ ex-Service personnel and benefit from their skills. It will also identify the most suitable career opportunities for former Service personnel. Initially through desk research, a survey and focus groups, the project will map trade bodies, organisations and networks, identify the leading bodies within each sector, and examine any existing engagement with the Armed Forces community.

This is the first phase in a larger project to encourage businesses to employ ex-Service personnel. The award was made under FiMT’s Employment Programme and this first phase is expected to be conducted over two months.

FiMT are committed to supporting the Armed Forces community throughout and beyond COVID-19 and this includes the continuation of funding to much needed projects such as this grant. The latest FiMT COVID-19 response can be found here.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of FiMT, says:

“Previous research has highlighted a lack of understanding among businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, about the benefits of employing ex-Service personnel. This project will provide us with a strong foundation upon which to formulate an engagement plan which will target key organisations in each sector. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure organisations are better informed and are involved in the employment of ex-Service personnel. We want employers to understand that engagement with the Armed Forces community makes good business sense. As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, it will be important for us as a nation to make the very best of the talent we have.” 

Ren Kapur, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of X-Forces Enterprise, says

“Employment opportunities within the SME sector are just as varied and as exciting as they are within large corporate organisations. The business owners we typically work with are already well aware of the benefits of recruiting from the military community. Through this project this message can be amplified to the wider SME sector utilising a variety of trade bodies and business networks. We are delighted to be working with FiMT and extending the reach of what we can do for the community. This effort combined with other recommendations made through ‘A Force for Business1’ ensures a multi-faceted approach to dealing with this large scale opportunity”. 


About the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT):

FiMTcame about from a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund (‘the Fund’), Cobseo (The Confederation of Service Charities) and other charities and organisations. FiMT continues the Fund’s long-standing legacy of support for veterans across the UK with an endowment of £35 million awarded in 2012.

The mission of FiMTis to enable ex-Service personnel and their families make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, and it delivers this mission by generating an evidence base that influences and underpins policy making and service delivery.

FiMTawards grants (for both responsive and commissioned work) to support its change model around 6 outcomes in the following areas: Housing; Employment; Health and wellbeing; Finance; Criminal Justice System; and Relationships. All work is published in open access and hosted on the Forces in Mind Trust Research Centre’s Veterans and Families Research Hub. A high standard of reportage is demanded of all grant holders so as to provide a credible evidence base from which better informed decisions can be made.

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