Edinburgh hosted employment fair for armed forces to meet British businesses


REPRESENTATIVES from 90 leading British businesses met with over 400 military personnel, on Thursday 18 April, at a national Employment Fair hosted by the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The CTP is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd, the global career and talent development expert within ManpowerGroup. This is the fourth CTP Employment Fair this year and part of a full programme of 11 events throughout the UK in 2024. Employers who attended the Edinburgh event represented a wide range of sectors including retail, manufacturing, renewables, and engineering. 

Leavers of the Armed Forces are highly driven, skilled and ‘work-ready’, but need support in weighing up their options to find the next suitable career pathway. Service leavers and veterans typically offer businesses exceptional technical skills along with key power skills such as communication, commitment, problem solving and teamwork.

Adrian Peters, Operations Director at CTP, said: With excellent transferable skills and experience, Service leavers bring many valuable characteristics to the wider business community. Their contribution is particularly needed right now, with employers across the country struggling to recruit and retain talent – a consequence of skills shortfalls reported across all sectors in the UK, which have reached an 18-year high of 80%. 

“CTP Employment Fairs play a vital role in helping with this nationwide struggle, enabling organisations to fill key skills gaps and job vacancies while providing new futures for thousands of Service leavers each year.”

One of the businesses that attended the event is Specialized Security. One of the UK’s leading security, stewarding and crowd management companies.

Aaron Sievewright, Operations and Training Manager, at Specialized Security said: “Specialized Security rely on smart, disciplined, and dedicated individuals to form the teams that provide the safety function for all the events that we take part in. Military personnel bring these attributes, and more to the party. Using the CTP to recruit from the pool of ex-military that is currently available is a no brainer and having a large number of ex-military available that have worked in some demanding and high-risk position around the world they are naturally suited to work in the security industry. 

“It is well recognised in the industry that Specialized Security are one of the best in the business. exhibiting at CTP Employment Fairs, like the Edinburgh one, gives us the opportunity to meet, face to face, high calibre candidates.”

The event comes at a time of cautious optimism amongst Scottish employers, who have indicated a net employment outlook of +13% this current business quarter (Q2 2024), according to ManpowerGroup’s latest employment outlook survey (MEOS). Although lower than the UK figure of +23%, it is still positive and characterised by plentiful opportunities, with a third (33%) of those organisations in Scotland that are hiring, saying they will be doing so because of anticipated growth, and (46%) due to backfilling vacancies.

Susie Hamilton, Scottish Veterans Commissioner, attending, said: “Veterans represent a unique and often high-performing source of talent that Scotland needs, but this is not yet fully understood by employers in Scotland. Events like the CTP Employment Fair are key to helping empower and support our Service Leavers to find a meaningful role that will allow them to reach their full potential after Service.

“The number and diversity of businesses attending the Fair is a promising indication of a growing awareness of the value that veterans can bring to the workplace. It’s encouraging to see so many organisations demonstrating commitment to recruiting from the forces community, and I look forward to hearing more about their positive experiences of working with ex-Service personnel.”

Laura McKie, Specialist Lead, Armed Forces Talent Programme, NHS Education for Scotland said: “We have been working with CTP since the launch of our programme just over a year ago. This relationship has been an important component of our engagement activity with Service leavers and has provided us with an opportunity to develop our understanding of the variety and depth of knowledge, skills, and experience available to us through this talent pipeline.

“Through the work we have been doing with CTP we have met with Service leavers with the transferrable skills and knowledge we need, but also applicants who understand and exhibit the values that we prize within the NHS.  It has also afforded us the opportunity to raise the profile of the broad range of opportunities available within the NHS to Service leavers who may not already have considered the NHS as a career destination before now, so the Edinburgh Employment Fair is key to raising the profile of our programme, our vacancies, and benefits of coming to work for the largest employer in Scotland.”

The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines regardless of time served, it has been the official provider of Armed Forces resettlement for 25 years, helping 280,000 Service leavers make their move into civilian life.

If you were unable to make the Edinburgh event, make sure to visit the CTP website to find out dates for all upcoming CTP Employment Fairs and similar events, with a combination of in-person and online offerings. 

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