· 1 min read · Features

Service-leavers: business leaders and recruiters have to tap into this unique pool

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The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2010 has had a huge impact on the size of British military forces and raises questions about our nation’s long-term security.

But the MOD's loss is the private and third sector's gain and way before the SDSR was even talked about, I started work with Hugh Andrée, a former army captain, to establish ForceSelect as a military service-leaver recruitment consultancy in the UK.

The fact we have worked with 100 British companies says much about the quality of the candidates we have provided and the appetite of British businesses to recruit service-leavers in challenging economic times. We try to get the message to all our candidates that, while entering the real world may be daunting, they have a wide range of transferable skills that can provide them with a fulfilling and long-lasting career.

Their skills and experience vary, but that is in their favour. The next wave of service-leavers will be able to fill positions as engineers, aviation specialists, fleet managers, logisticians, project managers, operational and business managers - and in everything from sales and marketing to general operations management.

I believe UK businesses still want exceptional candidates to help their organisations to sustain and grow in challenging times.

We have recruited into a variety of sectors: manufacturing, transport, postal management, marine and energy sectors, financial services, retail, the public sector.

To date, ForceSelect has been supported by some of the UK's largest employers - McDonald's, UPS, Gallowglass, KonicaMinolta, Install, Red Lion Foods and many more.

It is our job to translate military experience into civilian-speak and we are fully committed to working with British businesses to provide them with first-class staff who will be an asset to their organisations. The feedback confirms what we knew when we started: service-leavers are helping British business to thrive and to grow.

Crucial to this service is our mentoring scheme, in place to help service-leavers adjust to non-professional elements of civilian life. It helps to bridge the gap, providing the advice and support that can be vital when starting a new life in the civilian world.

ForceSelect has already seen a significant increase in candidates at all levels - from privates to three-star generals.

Earlier this year, we also signed a partnership agreement with Employment and Skills Group to provide a package of training for armed forces personnel set to join civilian life in the near future.

'Andy McNab' is the pseudonym of an English novelist and former SAS operative and soldier. He is director, ForceSelect