Setting up and running your own business requires courage, determination and a strong work ethic. These are attributes which service leavers have in spades, and why self-employment is a route well worth considering by those coming towards the end of their time in the Armed Forces. There are an estimate almost a million Armed Forces veterans of working age living in households In Great Britain.
For those seeking employment, small businesses can often be better than bigger ones at spotting and nurturing talent, rather than discarding a service leaver’s job application because some of their skills and qualifications aren’t necessarily from a traditional academic route.
But there is room for greater support and advice to service leavers on the options of self-employment or finding work within an existing smaller business, and there should be more of a focus on the key skills needed to succeed in enterprise.
At the same time, employers would benefit from a simplified way of understanding and recognising the equivalence between military skills and civilian qualifications. For those service leavers in need of further training and qualifications to achieve their post-military ambitions, there should be more financial support available. And for smaller employers there should be a financial incentive to recruit service leavers, in the form of a one-year holiday from Employer National Insurance Contributions.
These, plus a host of other recommendations, along with some fascinating insights, can be read in the report A Force for Business: Service Leavers and Small Business
Please also take a look at the colourful and inspiring case studies of some of FSB’s ex-forces members who run their own businesses.