MILITARY families had the chance to see what civilian life has to offer them at the Living and Working in Wiltshire and Swindon Transition Fair yesterday.
The fair, at Tidworth Leisure Centre, was organised due to the reduction in armed forces under Army 2020, as well as the natural end of military careers and those looking for a career change.
Wiltshire’s high military population means that many former soldiers will be looking to make the transition to civilian life in the county and the show aimed to provide them with advice on how to make a successful new start.
Brigadier Piers Hankinson, Commander 43 (Wessex) Brigade said: “They are work ready and they have had drummed into them a code of conduct that we need in order to have military effect, but the skill sets and code of conduct are invaluable to civilian employers as well.”
Represented at the show, which offered more than 80 stands and attracted more than 300 visitors, were big name employers such as Center Parcs, Dyson Ltd, G4S and Home Bargains who were all looking to recruit new workers.
Held for the first time last year, this year’s show offered more than 80 stands and attracted more than 300 visitors.
One of the many companies with a stand was Nationwide, which has its Headquarters in Swindon.
Rob Taffinder from the building society’s recruiting team said: “The military offer a wide range of skills available which are very much transferable into a wide range of companies across the Wiltshire region and we have an awful lot of people employed in that sort of area such as individuals with good people skills, use to working in stressful environments and good at co-ordinating issues in complex environments.”
The transition fair was supported by Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Career Transition Partnership. The fair hosted other exhibitors from Wiltshire Council and local organisations offering information, advice and contacts on everything from housing options and schools to teenage clubs and how to start a small business.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: “There have been a lot of sign-ups which is very interesting because then we are moving forward and then we can help either the businesses or the soldiers or the soldiers and the businesses together.”