19 Jun 2024
by Feron Jayawardene

Six key lessons businesses can learn from Armed Forces Week

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Armed Forces Week is a significant event that honours the service and sacrifice of military personnel.

For the Greater Birmingham business community, this week provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on the invaluable lessons that can be learned from the armed forces.

By incorporating these insights into their practices, businesses can enhance their operations, foster diversity, and support veterans transitioning to civilian careers.

Here are six key lessons businesses can learn from Armed Forces Week.

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1 Recognise the value of transferable skills

Jacob Welsh, a former Royal Navy non-commissioned officer and now Armed Forces liaison coordinator at Pertemps Network Group, underscores the diverse range of transferable skills that service leavers possess.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the Chamber press team, Jacob said: “Forces personnel have many transferable skills.

“For example, if they were a tank driver, they will have vehicle technician skills. They would have serviced the vehicle and made sure it is running every single day.

“And although they don't get qualifications from it, it may be a starting point for them to go into a company as a maintenance engineer.

Businesses in Greater Birmingham should actively seek to identify and utilise these skills.

For instance, a former tank driver’s expertise in vehicle maintenance can be invaluable in roles such as maintenance engineering.

Recognising these skills can bring fresh perspectives and robust problem-solving abilities to your team.

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Jacob Welsh


2 Provide tailored employment support through Career Transition Partnership

The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) programme is essential in aiding service leavers’ transition to civilian employment.

Jacob Welsh’s experience at Pertemps shows the importance of tailored support in matching ex-military personnel with suitable roles.

Greater Birmingham businesses should consider developing programmes that tailor job placements to the unique skill sets of veterans, ensuring a better fit and higher job satisfaction for both the employee and the organisation.

Also read: Helping service people transition into new careers: Jacob Welsh


3 Cultivate a high-performance mindset and leadership skills

Royal Marines Lance Corporal and basket ball star Jordan Dawes exemplifies the high-performance mindset and leadership skills honed in the armed forces.

In a recent interview, Jordan discussed the confidence he receives from completing the gruelling Royal Marines training, which businesses in Greater Birmingham can feed on.

He said: “The Marines is known for having some of the toughest training in the world.

“But knowing I can do it has given me confidence in so many areas of my life. And when you overcome challenges in sport or within the military, it makes some of the things you worry about on day-to-day basis pale into insignificance.

Businesses can learn from this by fostering a culture of discipline, leadership, and teamwork within their teams.

Encouraging employees to set high standards and communicate effectively can lead to enhanced performance and successful project outcomes. This is particularly relevant for businesses looking to thrive in Greater Birmingham’s competitive market.

Jordan Dawes


4 Emphasise the importance of advocacy and diversity in the workforce

Jordan Dawes also highlights the significance of advocacy and diversity.

His work with the Positive Action Team aims to increase the representation of under-represented groups in the military.

Similarly, businesses should create a more innovative and dynamic environment that reflects a broad range of perspectives and ideas, which is crucial for staying competitive in Greater Birmingham’s diverse business landscape.

Also read: A high performance mentality: Basket ball star and Royal Marine Jordan Dawes


5 Bridge the gap between military and civilian life

Retired British Army Major and leader of Staffordshire County Council Alan White points out the difficulties veterans face when transitioning to civilian life and stresses the need for better support systems.

Greater Birmingham businesses can play a crucial role by providing mentorship programmes and understanding the extensive skill sets veterans bring.

Helping veterans acclimate to new environments and leveraging their leadership and organisational skills can greatly benefit your organisation.

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Alan White


6 Harness the value of dependability and commitment

Alan White also highlights the dependability and commitment that military personnel bring to civilian roles.

By giving veterans a chance, businesses can benefit from their reliability, punctuality, and adherence to high standards.

These qualities can enhance productivity and foster a disciplined, goal-oriented workplace culture.

In Alan’s words: “Take the plunge and hire veterans—you'll be pleasantly surprised at how capable and dedicated they are.”

Also read: Good leadership doesn't need a badge of rank: Maj (Retd) Alan White



Armed Forces Week is an opportunity for Greater Birmingham’s business community to learn valuable lessons from military personnel.

By recognising transferable skills, providing tailored support, cultivating a high-performance mindset, promoting diversity, bridging the military-civilian gap, and harnessing dependability, businesses can support veterans in their transition while also gaining skilled, dedicated employees who drive success and innovation.

For more information on supporting the armed forces community, visit our dedicated Armed Forces Week page.