Life after a career in the British Armed Forces

May 31, 2017 | Employability

Leaving the Armed Forces can be very daunting for individuals whatever role they are leaving it is likely that the lifestyle was very regimented and could even of involved fighting on the frontline.

Government Statistics show that, on average, 20,000 personnel leave the British Armed Forces each year. This could be due to redundancy, medical discharge or the fact that they have come to the end of their commission so where do they go after that?

The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides resettlement services for all those personnel and also acts an intermediary for British Companies who are positively championing recruiting ex-Military into their business including retraining through schemes like the MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC).


The MOD’s Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme (ELC) promotes lifelong learning amongst members of the Armed Forces. The scheme provides financial support in the form of a single up-front payment in each of a maximum of three separate financial years. ELC funding is only available for pursuit of higher level learning i.e. for courses that result in a nationally recognised qualification at Level three or above on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) (England, Northern Ireland and Wales), a Level six or above on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) or, if pursued overseas, an approved international equivalent qualification with an approved learning provider.

As a registered learning provider for the ELC, we want to share our thoughts on how Military Service Leavers or in fact, existing serving personnel who are thinking of leaving, can fine tune their CV for this daunting transition into a more sedate, less structured civilian career.

Transferable Skills

Firstly, we would recommend identifying the transferable skills. For a start, we know that the majority of those transitioning out of the Armed Forces are highly skilled, highly motivated, highly trained and highly disciplined. But how can individuals demonstrate these transferable skills without portraying a more negative image of being stuck in your ways, only able to operate effectively within a regimented military environment.


No matter what role you had in the Armed Forces, it is extremely likely you have had experience in motivating and inspiring others to directly follow your vision or decision. This exceptional ability to delegate, motivate and communicate is the most important objective in any job and the one skill that is likely to see you rise to the top of whatever your new chosen career may be.

2.Work as a team

Of course, this is a necessity when working on the front line whether you are the regiments doctor or resident chef you are crucial cog in a well-oiled machine.

3.Strong work ethic / Dedicated to get the job done

You cannot let the side down. You are trained to leave no man behind. This skill is vital to any Company to achieve its goals.

4.Problem solving

Probably one of the most important skills within the Armed Forces, you need to be able to think on your feet and very quickly identify who is affected; what is affected; when did it occur; where is the problem and why it occurred. By acting quickly in this environment you can save lives. But this skill is very much transferable into Civilian roles like Court Certified Enforcement Officers (Bailiffs); Paramedics and other Emergency Service roles and Customer Services roles where the element of danger is removed but you still have to resolve customer issues speedily.

5.Work well under pressure

To be on the frontline whether you are in the Armed Forces or our Emergency Services you have to be able to do your job under extreme pressure so it is a given that you are going to have some experience in coping with pressure.

6.Attention to detail

I hate to say it, but paperwork and processes are much more part of the civilian working life than in the Armed Forces. You need to have your eye on the ball and minimise mistakes as this is how you will be evaluated in ‘the outside world’.

These are just 6 of the very many transferable skills that you have acquired during your career within the Armed Forces. Whilst some of the situations that you face may be very specific to life in the Armed Forces, the capabilities and competencies that you have used in your career to date will be very relevant to many different industries, in particular those roles where you need to ‘think on your feet’ and make the right decision for the situation that you are in.

Rethink your CV

So you’ve identified your transferable skill set and now you need to detail them in a positive way on your CV. While you may have used specific terms, acronyms and ‘jargon’ in the military, this will not be well-received to your civilian hiring managers.

For example, your last role was Field Artillery Battalion Operations Officer. While this is an easily identifiable role within the military, unless you are targeting positions within the government, you will need to reword this to Operations Manager or Supervisor and then be clearer about this role, Soldiers become ‘staff’ or ‘employees’; Radar becomes electronic communications system and so on.

This may make your CV look rather light and less focused. You can improve it by adding in any budget figures; numbers of soldiers (now employees) you managed recruiters love hard numbers and achievements.

Finally, remember to play up your achievements. Typically, Military performance evaluations can be a great source however, remember, these need to be translated as well. If you have a medal or commendation you need to say what that was for – leadership; exemplary performance etc.

While transitioning back to civilian life can be daunting in itself, transitioning back to the workforce need not be as long as you get your CV written and styled correctly.

How EndeavourUK can help!

EndeavourUK work extensively with many military leavers, every year, offering a wide range of different training courses to provide the skills and confidence and allow for a smooth transition into a civilian job role.

We particularly specialise in courses designed to allow you to work within the security industry including Close Protection; Door Supervision; Enforcement; CCTV Surveillance and Stewarding for spectator events.

Our most popular course is the Level 3 Certificate for Enforcement Agents (Bailiffs) Taking Control of Goods Package. This 5 day certified course (designed by EndeavourUK with Highfield Awarding Body of Compliance HABC) includes the Court Certification Process and can be achieved using your ELC funding.

EndeavourUK also have a number of links with employers in the Security and Enforcement industries and help many leavers to get into work.

For example, we work very closely with Absolute Enforcement who is a UK-based Enforcement Company who recruits their Enforcement Team through us on a regular basis.

Get in touch if you have any questions about how to use your ELC Funding at  Or if you are ready to become a Court Certified Enforcement Agent check out our full list of courses currently available on our Course Calendar.

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