News 24 June 2021

Mitie research finds FM is a natural career match for ex-military personnel

  • Mitie’s first report into how the facilities management (FM) industry supports armed forces veterans shows the sector is a good career fit, with over two thirds (70%) of former servicemen and women saying FM roles match their skill set
  • More than three quarters (77%) of veterans would recommend a career in FM to other armed forces leavers
  • Though 50% of veterans say it was a challenge to find work after leaving the military, four in five (84%) managers say veterans are likely to possess the skills most urgently needed in the sector

According to new research from Mitie, over two thirds (70%) of people who have served in the military and moved into facilities management reported that FM roles were a good match for the skills they developed in the forces, while more than three quarters (77%) said they would recommend the sector to other armed forces leavers. A new report, ‘Mobilising veterans in the facilities management industry, shows both veterans and managers in the FM industry agree that the sector is a natural match for former servicemen and women. With over 20,000 veterans leaving the armed forces every year to join the civilian workplace, the report looks at how the FM industry can better support our armed forces leavers.

The research found that many of the key skills developed in the military – reliability, ability to perform under pressure and professionalism – are a strong match for those most needed in the facilities management sector. This is also the view of most managers surveyed, with four in five (84%) saying that veterans are likely to have the skills most urgently needed in the FM industry.

Despite having the key skills needed to help them succeed in their FM careers, many ex-service men and women were concerned that their lack of technical facilities management knowledge may limit their career opportunities. However, while managers noted the importance of these skills, they should not be seen as a barrier, with over half (53%) saying that they would like to see employers offering more role-specific training to support ex-forces employees.

Though the report found that a career in facilities management is a good fit for veterans, more than a quarter (27%) of former servicemen and women felt unprepared and in need of guidance when looking to join the civilian workplace. Half (50%) said that it was a challenge to find work after leaving the military, with a lack of job-seeking skills, such as CV writing, and not understanding which jobs would best suit their military experience highlighted as key barriers.

The report also highlighted how important the armed forces community is in providing support to men and women recently leaving the forces. A third (29%) of veterans found their FM roles via a recommendation from someone they knew in the sector. Meanwhile, around a fifth of veterans said that creating employee networks (21%) and providing mentors (18%) are crucial ways employers can help smooth the transition to civilian life.

Mitie will use the findings of this report to guide its own initiatives to help ex-service men and women transition to civilian life and build their career in facilities management. This will support Mitie’s commitment that at least 2.3% of its employees will have a military background by 2025, 0.5% above the average for the UK population.

Charles Antelme DSO, Managing Director, Commercial and Government, Mitie, said:

“We’re delighted to see this report confirm that the facilities management sector is a natural choice for many armed forces leavers, offering ex-servicemen and women the chance to use the skills they’ve developed throughout their military career, as well as providing long-term career opportunities. With their professionalism, reliability and ability to perform under pressure, colleagues with a military background are a great fit for FM.

“However, with many veterans leaving the forces unsure which roles best match their skills, there is a huge opportunity for our industry. By offering the right support and guidance, we can help more former servicemen and women kick-start their careers in facilities management.”

The report builds on Mitie’s commitment to support the armed forces and to encourage more former military to join the facilities management industry. Mitie has already launched a number of initiatives to help ex-military personnel find work in the FM industry. This includes a dedicated Armed Forces Career Portal and its specialist Ready2Work – Military programme, giving veterans a chance to experience a placement in the FM sector. Through its employee network, the Mitie Military, it is also supporting its large community for veterans and reservists by offering a forum to share experiences with colleagues.

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