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Churchill signs the Armed Forces Covenant

In August, Churchill Group signed the Armed Forces Covenant as a key part of getting the Churchill name out as a military-friendly employer. The Covenant is a pledge that those who serve and have served in the armed forces and their families will be treated fairly in society. While few organisations would knowingly fail to uphold this, the pledge highlights how widespread and damaging a lack of awareness can be.

The strains of working in a high-risk environment are evident yet we rarely acknowledge the challenges that other aspects of military and post-military life present. Every year, thousands of people leave the military. With the average leaving age at 45, many veterans find themselves looking for civilian jobs for the first time in their life and coming up against people with decades of experience.

There are charities and organisations which offer aid in transition out of the forces but when it comes to beginning a new job, it is not always obvious to employers where the needs of ex-service people differ from those of other employees.

Facilities management is a field often recommended to ex-service people and it’s up to hiring companies to take a holistic approach to fulfilling the Covenant. From the hiring process, to support in the job, to progression, to communicating with HR and office managers, the whole organisation needs to play a role. Otherwise, they risk missing out on potential talent.

As part of the process of becoming a military-friendly employer, Churchill partnered with the Career Transition Partnership, an organisation which helps ex-service people to find a civilian career well suited to their skillset. Through the partnership, Churchill is able to reach out to potential new employees.

Churchill has also aided staff to gain relevant qualifications. Many ex-service people are highly capable when they leave the forces but don’t have the equivalent civilian qualifications. Recognising potential even if a candidate hasn’t followed a familiar career path is vital.

FM has many opportunities for ex-military employees but, as a sector that often works ‘behind the scenes’, it can be difficult for applicants to know where to start. Companies have the networks, resources, and knowledge to make themselves visible and will only increase their talent pool by doing so.

Through signing the Covenant, Churchill is playing a much-needed part in shaping an industry that is more active in supporting those who served our country.

Louisa Clarke served 10 years in the Royal Air Force as a movements controller. She has worked for the Churchill Group since 2011 and has helped raise awareness within the organisation of the particular needs of ex-military personnel.

Greg Dingle left the armed forces as a Warrant Officer Class 1. His final role with the forces was garrison-based, giving him more experience in civilian life and opportunities to make a smoother transition. He left the forces in 2012 and in his civilian role has interviewed and met a number of forces leavers. He joined Churchill in early 2018 and currently holds the position of regional director.