Lord Ashcroft’s Veterans Review Report commissioned by David Cameron outlined a number of different employment provisions on offer to service leavers including the ‘Troops to Teachers’ programme. As a founder of ForceSelect, one of the leading military recruitment companies, I believe that the label ‘Troops to Teachers’ doesn’t go far enough in promoting the vast array of employment opportunities within the education sector. The scheme misses a crucial point, namely the breadth of opportunities available. Let us not forget that, within the sector, around half of the staff employed are actually involved in non- teaching roles. It is precisely this variety of alternative roles that many service leavers and veterans could be particularly well suited for.
Clearly, not every service leaver is going to be a graduate and degree status is understandably a necessity for the vast majority of teaching posts within schools. We believe that more attention should be given to opportunities in further education colleges which are more focused on providing vocational courses. What about the military mechanic who has been instructing soldiers on the maintenance of vehicles, or the military chef? Those who have been in a training and development role within the military have the potential to be an extremely useful asset in the civilian education environment. Their skill set is immediately transferable to these vocational courses. There are numerous educational training facilities within the Armed Forces that are managed by a mixture of military and civilian staff. The British Armed Forces are still the largest single education provider in Europe. We have got the staff already doing these jobs in the military environment, why not the civilian one? And now that schools are gaining academy status, ForceSelect believe there is more opportunity for those in senior leadership positions in the military to step across to education. Academies are not just looking for senior teachers to take up ‘Head of Teaching’ roles; they are also looking for CEOs, Finance Directors and Operations Directors, as well as support staff. All these are transferable skills from the military and there are many officers who have been fulfilling precisely these roles within the Armed Forces.
In a wider context of independent and state schools and further education establishments, whether it is administrative support staff or facilities managers, bus drivers or security; service leavers and veterans have the relevant experience and training to fulfil these roles effectively. This sector has so many opportunities to offer ex Forces personnel beyond teaching roles.
ForceSelect have an education and training team, Select-Ed, looking at the employment opportunities within the education and training sectors as a whole. The team includes, in an advisory role, the Registrar of a major London independent school, who has been in education for nearly 40 years and comes from a military background. He believes more can be done to create a far simpler pathway from the military to employment opportunities within the education sector.
That isn’t to say that there aren’t also the teaching roles for the right candidates. ForceSelect have just placed their first teacher, an ex-Royal Marine with a degree in Biology, into a science teaching role. We now have a team in place with an in-depth knowledge of the education sector and a passionate belief in the importance of utilising the significant skills of ex-servicemen and women for the benefit of society; this single success is just the beginning.comments powered by Disqus