The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WICT) is hunting for employers that understand the benefits of hiring ex-military personnel or would like to learn more about bridging the gap between the military and the commercial world.
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The WCIT recently held an event to welcome interested employers into its IT 4 Employment scheme, which was established in 2009 to bring together companies willing to recruit members of the Royal Signals.
Employers already involved include Barclays, G4S, i-confidential, RBS, Reuter Thomson and Wilson James. IT 4 Employment aims to put major businesses seeking candidates with specific IT skills in touch with ex-servicemen and women who have experience of working in pressured environments.
So far an estimated 400 ex-military personnel have been helped into employment through the scheme. 30-40 members of the WCIT are involved in supporting the programme.
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Paul Finch, who heads up the scheme, said IT 4 Employment couples personal development support with real help in finding that crucial first job.
Speaking to Computer Weekly at the ‘new members meeting’ Finch said the programme is aimed at those coming from the end of their service into the world of employment.
“All companies involved are committed to bridging the gap and understanding what hiring an ex-military person is about and what they bring.
“IT 4 Employment is about building a club for businesses who hire ex-military personnel, with an emphasis on the Royal Signals,” he added.
Finch said the programme includes mentoring on how to write a “killer CV”, how to interview and how to set up your own business: “It’s about learning how to pitch yourself and switching their heads to think about learning to fight for yourself. It’s about taking ownership of your own life.”
Aimed at raising the profiles of ex-servicemen starting a career in the IT industry, Finch said the scheme teaches ex-signallers not to include military jargon on their CVs. For example, Finch said many ex-military may use the phrase “battle theatre” which to a civilian would mean the frontline.
According to Finch, the British Military provide a number of training opportunities for servicemen and women leaving, however most do not know what to do with the opportunities presented to them: “When you leave the military you can apply for funds for training, but most don’t know what to do with them. It is sold to them that they should do what they can, training wise, and that it will carry them through. But training and qualifications are not enough.
“We add the personal touches. It’s not just about the skills, it’s about the attitude. They need to present themselves with a hunger to learn and an attitude to do. Raw attitude first then the qualifications.”