Celebrating Armed Forces Week: Heroes in the Military make heroes in the workplace!

More businesses are turning to veterans to fill vacancies as the UK celebrates Armed Forces Week

As the UK celebrates Armed Forces Week (19th – 24th June 2023), new figures show that an increasing number of employers are recognising veterans as a great source of talent to employ within their businesses. Figures released today by the Forces Employment Charity show over 15,000 more job opportunities were created for veterans in the last year, compared to the year before, jumping from 97,826 in 2021 to 115,012 in 2022.1

Transferrable skills

Anyone who has served in the Armed Forces is likely to possess a range of highly desirable skills, such as resilience, accountability and an ability to be trained, plus impeccable leadership qualities. These are all attributes which many employers are looking out for, yet new survey results from the Forces Employment Charity2 show that, despite these exceptional skills, 2 out of 3 (62%) veterans sometimes underestimate the skills they developed during their time in the Military.

The survey also reveals that the biggest barrier veterans say they face when seeking civilian employment is “a lack of understanding amongst employers about how veterans’ skills from active duty translate into a business environment”.3 Over half (53%) of veterans also stated that they found transitioning into the civilian workforce harder than they had expected.


When it came to the type of support veterans would most value when seeking employment, they said:

  • Guidance on how best to recognise the transferable skills they have (29%)
  • Interview skills and preparation (28%)
  • Improving their confidence around ‘what they can bring to the table’ (26%)
Alistair Halliday CEO Forces Employment Charity
Alistair Halliday, CEO, Forces Employment Charity

Alistair Halliday, CEO of the Forces Employment Charity says, “It is fantastic to see that so many more employers are starting to recognise the incredible value veterans bring, which is reflected in the figures showing an upturn in the number of employers actively turning to veterans to fill their vacancies. Having said that, we also know that despite the tremendous skills possessed by those who have served, our survey highlights that veterans are still likely to undervalue and undersell themselves. This shows that there is more work to be done to ensure that ex-Service people are getting the help they require, and that employers are getting everything they need to bring more of the Military community into their workforces.”

The Forces Employment Charity exists to provide life-long, life-changing support, job opportunities, and training to Service leavers, veterans, reservists and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving.  The charity also delivers Op NOVA on behalf of the NHS, supporting veterans who are in contact with the justice system.

Armed Forces Day 2023 case study Matthew Emberton
Matthew Emberton

Matthew Emberton served for almost 23 years in the Army as an infantry communications specialist. He recently moved to South London to reconnect with family and ‘start again’ with a civilian career.

He says: “People in the military have a strong work ethic and, as a career soldier, I need the big challenges that employment brings that will push me, enabling me to function properly and at my best. When I contacted Forces Employment Charity, I was in a slump – I was fed up of being rejected and I was starting to lose focus. I was so used to getting rejections that I half expected a rejection each time I sent my CV off. Forces Employment Charity has helped me refocus – I was given help with my CV and partnered with a mentor, which boosted my confidence and reminded me that there are things that I can do. I was introduced to roles I’d never thought I’d be capable of. This made me realise there is a lot more help out there than I’d known, which gave me a new positive outlook.

“My Employment Advisor found me a great role that they encouraged me to go for and my mentor helped me prepare for the interview. Without either of them I am sure I wouldn’t have landed the role that has started my new career since leaving the British Army. Getting a new job and being offered the opportunity to start my new career has lifted my morale and given me a new sense of purpose. A lot of the stress and worry about paying monthly bills has now gone and I can start to plan my life again.”

Join us at an Armed Forces Day event

Forces Employment Charity will be in attendance at a number of Armed Forces Day events, taking place up and down the country on and around 24th June, including the flagship event in Falmouth. For more information, visit www.forcesemployment.org.uk and search events.


Reference points: 
  1. 97,872 job opportunities listed on veterans jobs board Rightjob in 2021, compared to 115,012 in 2022.  
  2. and 3. Survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of the Forces Employment Charity. Sample consisted of 400 veterans in employment between 23rd-31st May 2023.  
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