24 June 2012
As Armed Forces day nears, SAS legend says civvy street must hire ex-soldiers
By ANDY MCNAB, Sun Security Adviser
JUST back from Afghanistan visiting our troops, I look at the ex-services employment figures and feel desperately frustrated.
It seems particularly difficult for Forces leavers to find work at present and it is not simply down to the recession.
While most of our country stands by “Our Boys and Girls”, there is still a lot of confusion about the day-to-day roles of our servicemen and women within the Army, Navy and RAF.
And a lack of understanding as to what skills they might bring to the table once they have left the services.
Some smart businesses get it. But the majority still view service leavers merely as employees who are good at taking orders, even to the point of being robotic.
They don’t see beyond the camouflage-covered face of the infantry soldier or the old black and white war films they used to watch when they were younger.
They don’t see how the experience of leading men and women or working as part of a strong team translates to a “real world” job. The two most frequently asked interview questions are: “What makes you think running around a desert qualifies you for this job?” or the popular “So, did you kill anyone?”
The problem is bosses in civvy street massively under-estimate the work and leadership skills which make ex-servicemen and women a great recruit.
Service leavers are not victims. They do not want charity. They just want fair access to work.