Article 25 June 2021

We’re a natural career match for veterans

Yesterday we published our first report into into how the facilities management (FM) industry supports armed forces veterans. We wanted to find out if facilities management is a good fit for their skills and to understand some of the challenges they face finding a new career after the leave the armed forces.

Over two thirds (70%) of the veterans we surveyed who’ve moved into facilities management said that FM roles were a good match for the skills they developed in the forces, and more than three quarters (77%) said they’d recommend the sector to other armed forces leavers.

The report, ‘Mobilising veterans in the facilities management industry’ shows both veterans and managers in the FM industry agree that the sector is a natural match for former servicemen and women. With over 20,000 veterans leaving the armed forces every year to join the civilian workplace, we also looked at how we and the FM industry can better support their transition to life after military service.​​​​​​​

Key skills developed in the military like reliability, performing under pressure and professionalism are a strong match for the skills most needed in our sector. Four out of five (84%) FM managers surveyed believe that veterans are likely to have the skills most urgently needed in the industry.

Despite having the key skills needed, many ex-service men and women were worried that their lack of technical facilities management knowledge might limit their career opportunities. Over half felt they’d like to see employers offer more role-specific training to support ex-forces employees.

Although the report found that a career in FM is a good fit for veterans, more than a quarter (27%) of them felt unprepared and in need of guidance when looking to join the civilian workplace. Half (50%) said it was a challenge to find work after leaving the military because they lack job-seeking skills. Writing a CV and not understanding which jobs would best suit their military experience were identified as common barriers.

The report also highlighted how important the armed forces community is in providing support to people leaving the forces. A third (29%) of veterans found their FM roles through a recommendation from someone they knew in the sector. Meanwhile, around a fifth said creating employee networks (21%) and providing mentors (18%) are good ways employers can help them settle into civilian life.

We already do a lot to support and encourage armed forces colleagues to join the FM industry through initiatives like a dedicated Armed Forces Career Portal, the Ready2Work – Military programme and the Mitie Military employee network.

We’ll use the findings of this report to help ex-service men and women transition and build their career in FM. This will support our commitment of having at least 2.3% of colleagues from a military background by 2025, 0.5% above the average for the UK population.

​​​​​​​Charles Antelme DSO, Managing Director, Commercial and Government, said:

“We’re delighted to see this report confirm that the FM 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 us.

“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.”