As UK employers grapple with a shrinking talent pool, post Brexit and a global pandemic which has accelerated the talent crunch by a significant degree, business leaders across the country continue to talk of a skills shortage across most, if not all business sectors, including many trades such as manufacturing, engineering, IT, innovation, servicing, building & construction industries; the list is endless.

A Virtual Careers Expo launched by the Chamber Military Network and running between May and December this year, will now help to connect those trained and highly skilled workers from the Armed Forces community looking for jobs with employers across the UK.

Businesses are now being urged to sign up to the free Virtual Careers Expo and register their live vacancies in a bid to attract talent from the Armed Forces community.

Each business will be able to highlight up to three job vacancies at any one time and an allocated account manager will log regular updates through the dedicated portal, in line with firm’s individual recruitment needs.

Two companies who have first-hand experience of recruiting former service personnel are Black Country based VAS – Vacuum & Atmosphere Services Ltd and Lord Combustion Services.

VAS employs thirty-one people and provides furnace services for a range of clients including Mercedes, GE Power, Moog, and Collins Aerospace, and having found it increasingly difficult to locate, recruit and retain service engineers for their growing and thriving Oldbury-based company, they reached out to a number of highly skilled former armed forces personnel.

Managing Director at VAS, Mike Long said, “We took a risk taking our first ex-forces recruit back in February 2018, but to be honest it was one of the best business decisions we have ever made. Since then, we have employed further ex-service personnel.”

“Each and every one of them has been trained to an incredibly high standard, with unique service, engineering and transferrable skills and a great work ethic. They are eager to learn, are excellent at taking instructions and provide a great asset to our business.”

Sentiment echoed by Stuart Smith, Managing Director of another Black Country based business, Lord Combustion Services who signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017, Stuart said, “We have provided work placements and employment opportunities to service leavers, supporting their training programmes, and assisting with their transition into civilian life.

“As a business we are committed to supporting the Covenant and have recognised the excellent work ethic and transferrable skills that service leavers have, and more often than not have offered them full time positions within our team.”

The Virtual Careers Expo, launching on the 6th of May, will also host two ‘live’ events when recruiters will be able to hold real-time conversations with candidates who are interested in their organisation, meanwhile the platform itself will serve as a hub of information providing candidates with the support to find a role and prepare for interviews, as well as develop skills to help them secure their next role.

Sarah Walker, Armed Forces Champion at the Chamber Military Network said, “This Virtual Careers Expo is ideal for both employers to register their vacancies and for job seekers to search for their next role at a time when many firms are finding recruiting the right people a real challenge.

“Our Virtual Careers Expo will serve as a hub of information providing recruiters with access to a pool of talented candidates from across the country with multiple skill sets and suitable for a variety of business sectors, I would urge companies and individuals to sign up now to be part of this exciting opportunity.”

For further information and to sign up to the free Virtual Careers Expo visit the following website:


Published 11/05/2022