Why having served Queen and country can harm your career


Why having served Queen and country can harm your career

The research was carried out by Barclays as part of its Armed Forces Transition, Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) scheme, which helps people leaving the Forces find work with the bank and other companies.

Colonel Stuart Tootal, chief security officer at Barclays and head of the AFTER scheme, said: “Although the results do not match with our experience of veterans they are still valuable and show there is a challenge of education and a need to teach business what value ex-servicemen and women can bring.

“Veterans can translate what they have learnt in the Forces – an excellent work ethic, planning and a can-do attitude – to civilian roles, we just need to educate employers to these skills.”

Col Tootal – who led 3 Para in Afghanistan in 2006 and was awarded a Distinguished Service Order – added: “The level of support for the charity Help for Heroes shows the respect for the military that the public has, even if they do not understand how former servicemen and women can add value – we just need to match those two up.

“It is time veterans are valued by their skills, not their scars.”

Colonel Stuart Tootal during his time leading 3 Para in Afghanistan

AFTER has helped more than 3,500 former soldiers transition into civilian life, with Barclays taking on more than 150 of them.

Col Tootal said the former soldiers employed by the bank have performed exceptionally well in the wide variety of positions they have been recruited into.

“It’s recognised that former servicemen and women have a great flexibility across a range of roles. They are particularly good at leadership, motivation and make exceptional project managers with the ability to scope a problem, identify what is needed and then make it happen,” he added. “Many companies understand the importance of those skills and know they need them.”

• Tackling the challenges of moving to Civvy Street

A study earlier this year by charity Combat Stress found that 54pc of employers said they were reluctant to hire veterans because they were afraid they could be suffering from combat stress.

AFTER was set up in 2010 to help former servicemen and women of all ranks adapt to life after the services, through training and work placements and by funding education. It also offers practical skills such as money management and interview coaching.

The regimented life in the Forces means that for many of them these are tasks and challenges they have never had to face before, said Col Tootal.

He added: “Many individuals have spent all their adult life in the military with its structure and focus – civilian life really can be uncharted territory for them.”