A former Australian army officer is calling on UK businesses to “futureproof their workforce” and help solve the UK digital skills crisis by hiring ex-military veterans – after his firm placed more than 100 veterans into training for critical digital roles within major UK corporates.
Retired Army Captain Tom Larter, now the COO at social impact tech firm WithYouWithMe, has launched the 15,000 Futures initiative – an advocacy programme to drive more British veterans into meaningful post-service employment.
Supporting 15,000 futures
Every year, 15,000 people leave the UK military and return to civilian life but struggle to find meaningful employment.
WithYouWithMe supports armed forces veterans and their partners by delivering innovative aptitude testing and digital skills training for high-demand tech careers. It now has more than 2,000 UK veterans on its platform.
Seven major UK employers – Capita plc, Northrop Grumman, Atos, Leonardo UK, Fujitsu, Leidos, and SII UK – became the first to join 15,000 Futures and commit to filling a proportion of their digital vacancies with former servicemen and women, along with their families.
Over 100 veterans have been placed into specific digital roles, such as software engineering, or are actively training before joining these companies.
The initiative launched shortly after WithYouWithMe signed the Armed Forces Covenant last year – a promise by the nation that those who serve their country are treated fairly and with respect. It now wants others to do the same.
Challenging traditional recruitment practices such as reviewing the CVs of job applicants, WithYouWithMe’s “Potential” platform uses an end-to-end talent pipeline system to match candidates to digital roles. This gives a more accurate representation of the talent and potential within the veteran community. WithYouWithMe recently found, for example, that former snipers are well suited to cybersecurity penetration testing roles due to possessing high degrees of pattern recognition.
Tom Larter said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see the 15,000 Futures initiative already begin to have a positive impact on veterans and the businesses who are training and employing them in critical digital roles.
“However, this is just the start of creating real change – we are actively encouraging corporates across the UK to join the initiative and help ensure ex-servicemen and women are given the opportunity to build a meaningful career once they leave the military.”
Larter says WithYouWithMe can train veterans for digital roles in just 150 hours – with many having honed highly-transferable skills and capabilities during their time in service.
Said Later: “85% of veterans on our platform have intermediate or above tech skills prior to completing any training, and our data shows UK veterans have higher than average pattern recognition, spatial awareness and verbal reasoning, making them highly suited to high-demand tech roles, including software development, business analytics and cyber.”
To find out more,e visit www.15000futures.co.uk.