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Employers overlook veterans' skills

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?Veterans outperform civilians in a number of key areas but are frequently hindered by stereotypes

The Barclays Military Insight Tool saw veterans take part in a games-based psychometric assessment that measured strengths and capabilities relating to performance-based traits in the workplace.

The results showed that veterans scored in the top 30% for social influence, creativity, rational decision-making, emotional resilience, and dealing with ambiguity.

Previous studies have revealed a reluctance among businesses to hire veterans, with almost one in 10 (8%) employers stating they would view applications from former military personnel unfavourably. One in five veterans (22%) are set to face significant employment challenges over the next five years.

Stuart Tootal, head of the Barclays Armed Forces Transition, Employment and Resettlement programme (AFTER), said that the findings show veterans are being wrongly overlooked by employers. “This research demonstrates the strength and depth of veterans’ skills and helps to debunk the myth that military experience isn’t relevant in the commercial world – a misconception many employers still hold,” he said.

The research identified emotional resilience as a particular area of strength, with just 9% of veterans falling beneath the potential range during an assessment, compared to 16% of the general workforce. This result was particularly significant as a third of veterans (31%) feel that perceptions surrounding their mental health, particularly relating to PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), could be detrimental to their chances of getting a job.

Commenting on stereotypes surrounding the military, Tootal added: "Misunderstanding of military experience causes too many employers to write it off as being irrelevant when it should be seen as an asset. Through our firsthand experience at Barclays we’ve seen that veterans have exactly the right skills and culture to add value to our workforce.”

Barclays’ AFTER programme was set up in 2010 and has supported more than 3,500 veterans through internships, coaching, and CV coaching. The bank itself has employed nearly 500 ex-military personnel.