Why is it taking this veteran so long to find a job?

A former sergeant major, who sent out 400 job applications and even took to standing on a roundabout with a placard declaring his availability to work, is struggling to find work.

Wayne Taylor, 46, who served in the army for more than 25 years and is a veteran of both Gulf wars, was earning £45,000-a-year when he left the 26th Regiment Royal Artillery in December 2011.

However, since leaving the army with several transferable skills under his belt, Taylor claims he cannot find any roles that pay above the minimum wage – The Telegraph reports.

Taylor, from Wrexham, Wales, said: "The trouble with trying to get work if you're ex-army is they look at us and think we were only there to kill people - that's putting it bluntly but it's how it is. It's not easy.”

His plight has encouraged him to be creative, leading him to stand on a roundabout holding a placard reading: "Job Wanted. Educated to degree level. Speak to me please."

Taylor explains: "I'm fed up of emails and replies saying 'unfortunately we're not taking this application any further'. Things have been really difficult so I thought it was time to be proactive and try something different." 

To bring in some income, Taylor undertakes agency work and some ad hoc jobs, such as driving. He says the hurdles to employment are down to his lack of experience in the industries he is applying to and that potential employers were unable to see how his military skills could be transferred to a civilian workplace.

"Amazon offered me a role that's £7-something an hour. By the time I travelled home from work it would leave me with £60 for a 12-hour day which isn't financially viable,” he said. "I'm not a job snob, I'm just trying to better myself. I personally feel that I'm a bit better than £7.50 an hour."

Last year, research found that one in six veterans looking to return to the workplace have been asked an inappropriate question during their interview. According to a study by Barclays Armed Forces Transition Employment and Resettlement (AFTER) programme, 15% of ex-militia applicants have been asked whether or not they had killed anyone during combat.

Recruiters need to look beyond the CV credentials when hiring - it shouldn't be a box-ticking exercise. Instead, the industry should be aware of the value in seeking transferrable skills across a diverse set of candidates, and avoid discrimination. 

Comments (1)
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 1:46pm BST
"Veteran applies for 400 jobs but remains unemployed - why? "

"I'm a bit better than £7.50 an hour."
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