A new study commissioned by the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) Programme has discovered that less than 50% of employers looked favourably on military experience. Worse still, 1 in 10 employers looked ‘unfavourably’ at someone who had worked in one of the armed forces.

The research asked 2,000 individuals with managerial responsibilities how favourably they would look at a variety of attributes on a CV, including having a university degree, sector experience, speaking a different language, voluntary experience, military experience and participation in a sports team. While 81% said that they valued IT skills and 66% charity or voluntary experience, only 47% selected military experience which ranked the third lowest in the study.

Stuart Tootal, Chief Security Officer at Barclays and Head of the AFTER Programme, said:

“Ex-servicemen and women have a wealth of experience and an innate skillset that can bring real value to the commercial sector. From leadership skills to strategic thinking and problem solving, the strengths often displayed by veterans are exactly what the workforce needs. However, the results of this study clearly show that more must be done to help veterans translate these skills in a way that resonates with UK employers.”

The discipline and structured approach, taught in the armed forces, gives rise to individuals who can adapt well to rapidly changing situations. This is just the sort of person we need in business today.  The subject matter skills that they may have are an added bonus.  We can only applaud Barclays for highlighting this situation and bringing it to the attention of employers around the world.  Barclays see the hiring of veterans not just as a nice-to-have but as a business imperative.