SaluteMyJob is celebrating the award of a £15,000 grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund to further support and improve the competitiveness of 150 ex-RAF jobseekers…

The social enterprise, founded in 2014, is dedicated to the provision of veteran focussed consultancy, recruitment and assessment Services to employers. In addition, SaluteMyJob offers one-to-one support to ex-military job-seekers in order to improve their competitiveness for jobs in the private sector.

The grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund enables SaluteMyJob to provide this support at no cost to RAF veterans.

Currently, SaluteMyJob is working with 103 registered ex-RAF jobseekers and the grant from the RAF Benevolent Fund will enable the company to increase this to 150 competitive candidates.

Andrew Jackson, Managing Director at SaluteMyJob, said: “SaluteMyJob helps ex-RAF jobseekers translate their acquired military knowledge, skills and experience into the language of commercial employers. Crucially, we also help them provide evidence of those skills and attributes and thereby compete strongly for jobs.”

He added: “Employers welcome applications for jobs from ex-military people. However, too often former Service men and women are not seen as competitive candidates. This grant increases the resources SaluteMyJob can commit to help ex-RAF candidates win the fight for jobs.”

The RAF Benevolent Fund is the RAF’s leading welfare charity. They provide a range of support that includes welfare breaks for families and veterans, grants to help with getting about inside and outside the home, advice on benefits and care services.

Paul Hughesdon, RAF Benevolent Fund Director of Welfare and Policy, said: “The RAF Benevolent Fund is committed to enhancing employment prospects for RAF veterans and works with a variety of organisations to achieve this.

“We are particularly pleased to support Salute My Job as part of this overall approach. SaluteMyJob not only serves as a bridge between employers and veterans seeking civilian jobs, but also provides veterans with valuable career services such as CV advice, interview training, and mentorship. We are delighted to support them as part of our commitment to helping veterans transition to civilian life.”

General Sir Nick Parker KCB CBE, Chairman of SaluteMyJob, said: “This grant is welcome and much appreciated. The funding will enable SaluteMyJob to increase the support it provides to RAF jobseekers and enable employers to take advantage of former RAF people as assets to their businesses. It is also a vote of confidence in SaluteMyJob’s work with employers and veterans alike.”

Case Studies

Mick Pinder

Chesterfield Cylinders, an award-winning designer and manufacturer of high pressure gas containment systems, is one of the businesses that SaluteMyJob has helped to employ an ex-RAF jobseeker. Managing Director of Chesterfield Cylinders, Mick Pinder is an advocate for employing veterans and hopes to encourage other businesses to do the same.

Mick employed Craig Peckett, an ex-RAF Engineering Officer, eight months ago. Craig started in a sales engineer role but has now just been promoted to Business Unit Manager. Mick said he hopes to use SaluteMyJob again to employ additional veterans in his workplace and praised Craig’s time at the company and said he expects Craig to go far in the business.

“I would definitely use SaluteMyJob again, said Mick. “It was such easy process. And it’s all about the candidate. And to be fair to Craig, as soon as he walked through the door, we knew we were going to have this guy.”

During the interview, Mick said he was particularly interested in Craig’s deployment skills and his ability to be innovative in the field. He added: “He didn’t need to work too hard – he was obviously the guy we wanted to work with.”

Mick continued: “He came in as a sales engineer/technician and has just been promoted. He has brought drive, enthusiasm and determination to give the customer a really great service. We have been winning business because of him. He is on his way – he will do really well in the business.”

Mick said it was the transferable military skills, such as leadership, that have really added value to the business. He added: “He is very technical, as an engineer, but it’s his leadership and strength of personality that is the most valuable to us.”

It is not just former RAF personnel that Chesterfield Cylinders employ, the business actively seeks out veterans from every military background. “We have always tried to recruit from the military – wherever possible,” added Mick. “It’s the right thing to do, to give something back to people who have served our country – that is the prime motive.

“But after that – selfishly – we have got access to a huge talent pool of people who are inherently self-disciplined, skilled-up, have a great attitude and are very easy to train. In our business, which is very bespoke, we are not going to employ an expert, so what we look to do is bring people in with the right attitude and we do the rest. So bringing in someone with a military background you are taking a lot of risk away, you know you are going to get someone who you can train up in the business.”

Mick said he would encourage other businesses to follow suit. “If they do not have a morality point of view, just be selfish about it – you need to bring the best people into the business,” he added. “You are looking at people who have had the best training available and who are looking for work. All we need to do is train them up in our business but they are so used to training – it’s a piece of cake.”

Craig Peckett

“If you had asked me before I left the Air Force what I had learnt in 16 years – I would have said nothing. Now, after being out in civvy street, I can honestly list the amount of things the military taught me.”

Craig Peckett left the RAF after 16 years back in December 2012, where his background was in engineering. His final role in the Royal Air Force was as an Engineering Liaison Officer, spreading the word about the RAF’s engineering branch. Prior to that, Craig was with the Red Arrows and Tornado squadrons – travelling around the world.

Craig said he loves his role at Chesterfield Cylinders and said for him the transition into civvy street was “simple”.

“I’m quite an individual person – I did not find it too difficult,” he said. “I don’t think at the time I left, there was a great deal of support to be honest. But luckily I have got quite a get up and go attitude about me so I was in a role within seconds of leaving. The transition for me was simple but could have been easier.”

After a time at another company and a few months of self-employment, one of SaluteMyJob’s recruitment consultants, who used to work with Craig, got in touch about a potential opportunity at Chesterfield Cylinders. “I didn’t know this role existed – it was SaluteMyJob who identified this role for me. I wouldn’t have known about this job if it had not been for SaluteMyJob,” he added.

With his recruiting experience, Craig said he did not need a huge amount of advice to prepare for the role – but valued SaluteMyJob’s recruitment consultants help on updating his CV to make it more specific to the role he was applying for.

Craig said the skills he gained within the RAF were valuable in getting him the job – and the most recent promotion. “If you had asked me before I left the Air Force what I had learnt in 16 years – I would have said nothing. Now, after being out in civvy street, I can honestly list the amount of things the military taught me,” he said.

“I think my basic engineering skills and my managing skills were of course valuable in civvy street. But also, what you think is normal in the military is not normal outside. If you’re not busy you find work – outside it’s a lot different, a lot less proactivity. People won’t necessarily actively go out and find work to do – but that is what people in the military do.

“It comes down to personality as well. Because people in the military go through quite a lot of rubbish, you need to have a personality that can pretty much adapt to anything – that goes quite a long way in a civilian environment.”

Craig said those set to leave the military should not be daunted by the experience – and to make sure they do not undersell themselves. “You need to appreciate what you have got,” said Craig. “A lot of people will not set the bar high enough for themselves. The personal skills you get in all Services – they set you up so well. Do not undersell yourself.”

He added that any employer who does not look at ex-military personnel – are “missing out on such a wealth of experience”. He said: “They are missing out on a work ethic that you do not get in a natural environment. The work ethic of anyone in the military is second to none.”

Further Information