Becks Will and Craig at Travis Perkins Northampton Image: The Poppy Factory

Communication and team work are the highest-rated workplace skills

People in the East of England believe skills and values developed in the military are essential for good performance in the wider working world. This is according to new research published in Armed Forces Week by veterans’ employment charity The Poppy Factory.

Communication and team work were the highest-rated workplace skills in the survey of 195 adults in the region. At least 80 per cent of people said that these skills are vital. Organisation and problem-solving were also in the top four.

All of these skills are cited by the Ministry of Defence as being typical of veterans who are transitioning to the civilian world after leaving the Services.

Other attributes, including IT skills, commercial awareness, networking and creative skills, were seen by fewer people in the East of England as critical when it comes to performing well at work.

The Poppy Factory, which supports veterans with physical and mental health conditions back into employment, also asked people to choose which values they believe are most essential for success in the workplace.

Respect for others – a core value of the British Army – was the top-rated workplace value, with three quarters (75 per cent) of those surveyed in the region saying this is essential for success.

Integrity, discipline and loyalty were also key Army values that members of the public placed in their top five.

Fewer people in the East of England viewed other values, including kindness, optimism, openness and curiosity, as important for success at work.

Deirdre Mills, chief executive of The Poppy Factory, said:

“This survey shows that men and women who have served in our Armed Forces develop a wealth of skills and attributes that can benefit every kind of employer.

“The veterans we support back into work in communities across the East of England often do not realise their value and part of our role at The Poppy Factory is to help them understand the incredible skills and experiences that they have to offer.

“With the right support, mental and physical health conditions should be no barrier to meaningful and sustained employment beyond the Services.”

Will at work at Travis Perkins 2

The survey was carried out by YouGov on behalf of The Poppy Factory for Employability Day on June 28th.

This year’s Employability Day theme is Closing the Gaps, highlighting the work being done by organisations like The Poppy Factory to support disadvantaged people to enter, sustain or progress in work.

The Poppy Factory supports around 300 veterans back to work each year, such as former soldier Will Davidson, who developed post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Northern Ireland.

He was supported into work as a HIAB HGV driver at Travis Perkins in Northampton after The Poppy Factory helped him focus on his own skills and employment needs. Will said:

“When I came out of the Army I didn’t really have much of an idea about what I was going to do or how I was going to do it.

“I met Rebecca, my Employability Consultant from The Poppy Factory, at the end of 2017. I nearly didn’t go, but she was really relaxed and made me feel that this was going to be something really positive. It was great to build a rapport with her and do things gradually, so that when I did find a job, I’d be able to stay in it.

“She worked tirelessly to secure a job for me at Travis Perkins and eventually it worked out. My working hours really suit me and I’m grateful for all the support I have from my colleagues and Branch Manager.”

For more information about employment support for veterans with health conditions, visit www.poppyfactory.org