Enterprise Training Urged for Thousands Leaving Armed Forces

Armed ForcesMore and better enterprise training should be given to the rising number of people set to leave the armed forces over the next two years to encourage them to start their own businesses.

That’s the joint call from enterprise charity Heropreneurs and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in response to recent Government cuts.

In a new report, they urge the Government to ensure its resettlement programme is “fit for purpose” and to create an umbrella body to co-ordinate existing support for ex-military personnel as they enter the civilian workplace.

Heropreneurs founder Richard Morris said:

“If you have 20-30,000 people a year coming out who are expensively trained and skilled, you would expect to do more for them in society than is presently done.”

The report also argues that the Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review will increase the number of people leaving the military from around 24,000 annually to 75,000 over the next two years.

Although leavers are offered some workplace training, the current programmes are “inflexible”, poorly-tailored and don’t consider starting a business, according to Morris. Existing post-forces support from different bodies is lacks coordination.

The report calls for:

  • More help to service leavers to translate military skills into workplace skills
  • The Ministry of Defence to work more closely with recruitment agencies and business organisations
  • The creation of a “lifelong entrepreneurial culture” in the UK’s armed forces.

Ex-naval airman and founder of Butlers in the Buff, Jason Didcot, supported the call.

“Most of us just signed up for anything when we did our courses ahead of leaving. There was nothing really to suggest going into business for yourself.”

“A lot of guys in the forces are very self-motivated and imaginative, and very capable of starting and running a business.”

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman queried the report’s figures, saying they expected to see 40,000 service leavers over the next two years, not 75,000.

“We have provided £5 million funding to the Royal British Legion’s Be the Boss scheme, which provides high-quality training and business planning support to service leavers who want to start or grow their own business. In the first year of the scheme more than 1,000 ex-service personnel registered their interest and more than 340 are currently in training.”

“We will consider the proposals made in the report.”

Enterprise Training Urged for Thousands Leaving Armed Forces

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