A new report by Mitie, Mobilising veterans in the facilities management industry suggests the FM sector is a good career fit for armed forces veterans, with over two thirds of former servicemen and women saying FM roles match their skills set. With over 20,000 veterans leaving the armed forces every year to join the civilian workplace, the report looks at how the FM industry can better support armed forces leavers.
The research found that many of the key skills developed in the military – reliability, ability to perform under pressure and professionalism – are a strong match for those most needed in the facilities management sector. More than three quarters (77 per cent) of those polled said they would recommend the sector to other armed forces leavers. This is also the majority view of managers surveyed, with four in five (84 per cent) saying that veterans are likely to have the skills most urgently needed in the FM industry.
However, many ex-service men and women were concerned that their lack of technical facilities management knowledge may limit their career opportunities. However, while managers noted the importance of these skills, they should not be seen as a barrier, with over half (53 per cent) saying that they would like to see employers offering more role-specific training to support ex-forces employees.
Though the report found that a career in facilities management is a good fit for veterans, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of former servicemen and women felt unprepared and in need of guidance when looking to join the civilian workplace. Half (50 per cent) said that it was a challenge to find work after leaving the military, with a lack of job-seeking skills, such as CV writing, and not understanding which jobs would best suit their military experience highlighted as key barriers.
The report also highlighted how important the armed forces community is in providing support to men and women recently leaving the forces. A third (29 per cent) of veterans found their FM roles via a recommendation from someone they knew in the sector. Meanwhile, around a fifth of veterans said that creating employee networks (21 per cent) and providing mentors (18 per cent) are crucial ways employers can help smooth the transition to civilian life.
Charles Antelme DSO, Managing Director, Commercial and Government, Mitie, said:
“We’re delighted to see this report confirm that the facilities management sector is a natural choice for many armed forces leavers, offering ex-servicemen and women the chance to use the skills they’ve developed throughout their military career, as well as providing long-term career opportunities. With their professionalism, reliability and ability to perform under pressure, colleagues with a military background are a great fit for FM.
“However, with many veterans leaving the forces unsure which roles best match their skills, there is a huge opportunity for our industry. By offering the right support and guidance, we can help more former servicemen and women kick-start their careers in facilities management.”
Mitie will use the findings of this report to guide its own initiatives to help ex-service men and women transition to civilian life and build their career in facilities management. This will support Mitie’s commitment that at least 2.3 per cent of its employees will have a military background by 2025, 0.5 per cent above the average for the UK population.