The latest research by tax specialists, RIFT Tax Refunds, has shown that the number of ex-armed forces personnel who find themselves unemployed after leaving the services has fallen by -33% yearly. However, female ex-service personnel are likelier to find themselves out of work.
RIFT Tax Refunds, awarded the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for a decade of support for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, analysed the latest figures on ex-services employment levels and how they have changed recent years.
The figures show that 7,292 personnel who left the Armed Forces found employment in the last year, a 12.4% increase on the previous year, equating to 87% of all personnel leaving the Forces that year.
Those leaving the Royal Navy found the largest employment within skilled trade occupations; elementary occupations were the most common area of employment for those leaving the Army, while those leaving the RAF saw the highest level of employment within associate professional and technical occupations.
At the same time, there has been a reduction in the number of ex-service personnel finding themselves unemployed or economically inactive.
The number of those classed as economically inactive has fallen by -14.2% year on year, accounting for 10% of total leavers, with the most common reasons being to pursue further education, training or volunteering.
Just 272 of the 8,378 Armed Forces personnel left the forces last year and found themselves unemployed. This accounts for just 4% of those who have left the Forces and marks a -33.2% reduction from the previous year.
Female ex-service personnel were more likely to find themselves unemployed, accounting for 4.2% of the total figure versus 3.6% of men.
Of course, these statistics fail to account for those on the streets without a home. The Royal British Legion estimates that ex-servicemen and women account for three to 6% of all homeless people in Britain. That’s an estimated 6,810 to 13,620 former Armed Forces personnel who have found themselves without a roof over their head.
Bradley Post, MD of RIFT Tax Refunds, who recently hit their £300,000 fundraising target for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, commented: “The ABF Soldiers’ Charity is just one such enterprise that does invaluable work within the Armed Forces community, helping to ensure that those in need receive the support they need, whether that be financial or otherwise.”
A huge part of this work is helping those leaving the Armed Forces transition into civilian life and ensuring they can find employment, or another path to pursue, such as volunteering or further education, which is one of the keys to success in this respect.
But while it’s great to see that the number of ex-service personnel finding employment has increased, more must be done to ensure every person leaving the Armed Forces can prosper.
For many, falling into unemployment can be the first step on a downward spiral that often ends in homelessness. This isn’t acceptable when you consider the sacrifice these men and women make to defend their country.”
The issue of homelessness for ex-service personnel was one of the reasons why RIFT founder & chairman Jan Post recently took part in the ‘Chairman’s Great Tommy Sleep Out’ for the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI).
The event was held on a very wet and cold night in March to help raise vital funds and awareness of the thousands of veterans experiencing homelessness in the UK. Equipped with just a sleeping bag, flask, chair and thermals, Jan spent the night sleeping under the stars at Fort Amherst in Chatham, Kent, joined by several other business leaders.
With every pound raised, Royal British Legion Industries can provide safe, warm housing and ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to gain employment, regardless of health conditions or disability, changing the lives of our Nation’s heroes.
Commenting on the event, Jan said how she barely slept but found it an excellent way to raise much-needed funds for veterans to hopefully get more of them off the streets.
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