An annual report providing estimates on the size and socio-demographic characteristics of the UK veteran population has been published by the Ministry of Defence.
The comprehensive report uses data provided in the 2015 Annual Population Survey (APS) produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), detailing statistics on regional location and employment status of veterans across the UK as well as health, education and housing data.
At SaluteMyJob we are particularly interested in the data concerning veterans and employment status. According to the report, there were no notable differences in employment status of working age UK Armed Forces veterans residing in the UK when compared to non-veterans - with 75.9% of veterans employed compared to 78.8% of the standardised non-veteran population.
The report also found there were no significant differences when comparing employment status of veterans to non-veterans by age, gender, regional location and ethnicity. However when comparing males to females within the veteran population there were significant differences in the estimated employment status. Male veterans were significantly more likely to be in employment and significantly less likely to be economically inactive compared to female veterans:
- 77.6% of male veterans compared to 65.5% of female veterans in employment.
- 18.2% of male veterans compared to 30.4% of female veterans economically inactive (people who are not in work and are not actively looking for work, such as those in retirement, those studying and those caring for relatives).
When looking at veterans and industry, these findings were particularly insightful, with the data breaking down what profession working age veterans were most likely to be employed in. Some key findings were:
- It was estimated that veterans (aged 16-64) were most likely to be in associate professional and technical roles. This same finding was also seen in 2014.
- There were no significant differences between the veteran population and the non-veteran population in terms of the industries they were employed in. It was estimated that veterans and non-veterans were most likely to be in manufacturing roles.
- The industries working age veterans were estimated to be most likely to be employed in varied across age groups:
- Veterans aged 16 to 34 were most likely to be employed in ‘Construction’ (13.2%)
- Veterans aged 35 to 49 were most likely to be employed in ‘Manufacturing’ (13.9%)
- Veterans aged 50 to 64 were most likely to be employed in ‘Transport and Storage’ (14.4%)
The below graphs shows these statistics in more detail:
Other Key Points
- According to the data, there were an estimated 2.56 million UK Armed Forces veterans residing in households across Great Britain in 2015.
- Over a quarter of veterans were estimated to be in the South East and South West of England.
- Across UK Armed Forces veterans and non-veterans residing in GB there were no differences in the health conditions reported, with the most prevalent long-term health conditions being musculoskeletal and cardiovascular and respiratory problems.
- UK Armed Forces veterans residing in GB aged 16-34 and 50-64 were more likely to have ever smoked. Working age (16-64) veterans who had ever smoked were significantly more likely to report suffering from respiratory and mental illness health conditions compared to non-smokers. They were also more likely to report that their general health was bad and that their health concerns limited their day to day activities.
- Working age UK Armed Forces veterans residing in Great Britain were significantly more likely to have gained their qualifications through work compared to non-veterans (63.5% compared to 45.3% respectively). This may be due to veterans using the opportunities available to gain qualifications when they were in Service, or veterans being more likely to undertake vocational training on leaving the Services.
The publication offers a comprehensive and insightful look at the socio-demographic characteristics of the UK Armed Forces veteran population – with some promising statistics, in particular the data surrounding veterans and employment. The fact there are no notable differences in the employment status of veterans when compared to non-veterans (with 75.9% of veterans employed compared to 78.8% of the standardised non-veteran population) is good news – but the report also highlights there are still notable issues surrounding the significant differences in the estimated employment status when comparing male and female veterans. And of course - we would still like to see the percentage of veterans employed throughout the UK higher.
To read the full report, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-population-survey-uk-armed-forces-veterans-residing-in-great-britain-2015