There are 1 million veterans of working age in the UK, with 20,000 leaving the forces every year.
Across British industry there is a skills shortage – engineering, healthcare, construction, professional services and IT being some of the worst hit industries. Unemployment is at a low of 5.5% in the UK, and yet there are 740,000 job vacancies in the country – close to the highest on record.
Veterans and service leavers demonstrate employability traits that are highly desirable to employers: anecdotal feedback from large veteran employers points to higher productivity rates, better customer handling and people skills, better long term retention rates, and better values and standards.
Thanks to the digital revolution, the organisation of resources and labour is moving away from institutional and centralised models, and towards networks: Uber doesn’t own taxis, AirBnB doesn’t own hotel rooms, Facebook doesn’t produce content. Why? Because a network enables demand to find supply more efficiently.
At its core is next generation peer to peer technology that enables the Armed Forces’ community to connect directly with employers – to get support from their people, attend exclusive events and secure work placements and jobs – transforming the way that service leavers and veterans transition to civilian careers.
Project FORTIS offers veterans and service leavers:
• A highly personalised experience in finding careers
• Connections with working experts who are committed to building a relationship with them, who understand their specific circumstances, and who are willing to help
• The unique ability to reach right into an organisation, bypassing processes and automated systems
94% of all those who’ve used the platform to connect would recommend it to others.
83% of those in mentoring relationships believe that their mentors are having a positive, significant or instrumental impact on their prospects.
The management team includes:
• Ed Janvrin – former Gurkha officer and PwC consultant who managed the delivery of the Invictus Games 2014; has raised over £1m for armed forces charities; and is a member of The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund board
• Richard Tyrie – serial tech innovator who built the largest public sector jobs platform in the UK – filling 50% of all government roles in the mid-2000s; advisor to the cabinet office; and trustee of UnLtd
• Caroline Waters – recently voted in top 10 most influential HR practitioners in the UK in the last decade, former Director of People and Policy at BT, and now deputy chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and member of the MOD Diversity board.
The network is agnostic to politics and agendas – simply providing a highly efficient and user-friendly environment where veterans and service leavers can find optimal career solutions.
The Project FORTIS concept was born out of the work Richard has done over the last three years with BT, through his groundbreaking social enterprise GoodPeople. BT is thus a founding partner of the Project FORTIS concept, alongside GoodPeople.
Project FORTIS Ltd is a social enterprise, soon to have B-Corp accreditation, that espouses the principles of responsible capitalism. By being a for-profit enterprise it is able to raise capital more efficiently, reinvest profits to enable preferential access for charities/MOD, and retain the best talent – accelerating social impact.