Page 40 - Farm labour in the UK
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  Figure 8. Words used by respondents to describe service leaver qualities relevant to a career in farming.
Service leavers are recognised as being particularly well-qualified for management roles in farming due to their leadership skills and ability to train others.
“Everyone [who] leaves the forces, has lots of experience teaching because the armed forces are one of the best trained organisations in the country, which means we all train each other, we all know how to teach” (Service leavers 3)
One initiative operator believed such abilities should encourage employers to fast-track service leavers to management roles in their business as a result of such skills.
“So I call those sort of roles gateway roles, where 60 to 80% of the job is all the soft skills that they’ve got from their leadership and professional training armed forces, and the 20 to 40% sector knowledge they can learn on the job. Whereas, of course, most employers not just in the land-based sector but most employers, recruit on the basis of you must have five, ten, twenty years sector experience before we will consider you for this management role” (Service leavers 3)
The perception of farmers regarding the suitability of ex-military individuals to a job in farming varies significantly among farm business owners, initiative operators and other stakeholders. According to one respondent:
“People are sceptical but they also need manpower” (Service leavers 3)
Initiative operators are optimistic that the demand and openness to employ is already there among many farmers.
‘The agricultural industry is open to taking people on who have no experience or pre-conceptions about how things should be done. A lot of farmers I talk to, say, ‘if I have got someone who is basically completely new to things it may take them longer to get into the job and up-to-speed, but they will be doing the job as I want it done myself’’’ (Service leavers 1)

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