WORK may be a bit on and off at the moment, thanks to the trials of the pandemic.
So it may be the perfect time to volunteer for the Army, RAF or Navy Reserves, help your country and pick up skills and experience.
If already in a job, your employer may grant you paid leave — there is government money to help.
If you are simply working less, or out of a job, the Reserves offers a learning opportunity.
Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day, when we celebrate Our Boys and Girls, and now YOU could join their work.
The challenges of the pandemic have also made more people keen to volunteer.
You may help with countering security threats, peace-keeping and humanitarian efforts abroad, or supporting communities at home.
Training is usually an evening a week, and several weekends and one 15-day course annually. There are pension and benefit perks, including an annual tax-free payment.
The RAF Reserves, for example, takes around 500 recruits a year, aged 18 to 54, in more than 40 different types of work.
Rochelle Gopee is a matron in the NHS and also works as a Flight Nurse for the RAF Reserves 4626 Regiment.
Rochelle, 30, from Essex, says: “I joined the Reserves in 2012 and it has presented me with endless opportunities to broaden my horizons.
“One exercise I went on, in Norway in 2013, involved avalanche-training. It gives you a sense of achievement.
“In my NHS day job, I manage three surgical wards and an outpatient department. “As a Flight Nurse with the RAF, I could be called on at a moment’s notice to assist with critical patient care.
“There’s so much going on and plenty of opportunities for us to deploy or get involved with operations and exercises alongside our Regular counterparts.
“The friendships I’ve made are second to none.”
Squadron Leader Wendy Underwood, head of RAF Reserves recruitment, said: “People can be so fulfilled by an activity outside their usual work.
With only 24 per cent of people aware of the RAF Reserves, we’d love to encourage people to apply — for the experience of a lifetime.”
Tap into Forces talent
MORE than 20,000 people leave the Armed Forces each year and, despite considerable skills, can struggle for work.
But RAF medic Kayam Iqbal, MD of ex-military recruiters OppORecruitment.co.uk, says: “Someone who has served in the military will possess a range of skills, honed to an enhanced level in conditions not always found in a civilian arena.”
Here he says why firms should hire such people . . .
- Integrity, honesty, self-drive, motivation: All who have served in the Forces have these, and are also good at motivating others.
- Adaptability: Despite the misconceptions of some employers, ex-military can adapt to any environment. During an average 22-year career in the Forces, they change roles and locations on average around ten times.
- Communication: You are taught to articulate clearly and concisely, in order to present to, or teach, a range of audiences.
- Diversity: The military recruits from many back-grounds, including Common-wealth states, and ex-Forces staff understand different cultures. The Forces unites a diversity of individuals as one cohesive unit.
- Organisation: Planning is a core skill in the military
PARCEL delivery firm Yodel loves to hire ex-Forces personnel – and is seeking 200 staff for its warehouse and logistics teams, including IT and logistics specialists.
The firm won a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme gold award in recognition of its readiness to hire former military personnel.
Yodel CEO Mike Hancox says: “Every day we see benefits ex-services personnel bring to a business, and National Armed Forces Day tomorrow is an opportunity to champion their experience.
“We offer guaranteed interviews to military veterans who fulfil our application criteria, and extra leave to acting Reservists so they can complete their training.
POWER firm SSE, which is signed up to providing employment opportunities for ex-military, has more than 100 jobs available, including in telecom, trade and logistic roles.
For more details, see ssejobs.co.uk.
Join COVID war
COVID antibody test firm Pyser Testing is seeking ex-military staff to build its network of testing sites.
Founded by military veteran Ian Hannam, the firm is hunting for veterans with first-aid qualifications, as well as former police, ambulance and fire-service personnel to administer tests and organise the sites.
Roles vary from visitor engagement, and sales and marketing, to medical jobs.
There are up to 80 vacancies across the UK.
Leave your details at pysertesting.com/contact-us/ and the HR team will call you.
Mr Hannam entered Sand-hurst military academy in 1982 and left as a captain, before studying at the London Business School.
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