Letter: Long march back to jobs in Civvy Street

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Sir: I must react to your article 'Forces winning fight to redeploy staff' (13 June), concerning the success of ex-servicemen and women in finding employment on leaving. I have been a civilian since August 1993, but started my job search in March 1992. Having attained the rank of warrant officer in the Royal Engineers, I am highly qualified in a number of areas of management and engineering. With 27 years to my credit serving in various theatres overseas (Africa, the Middle East, the Falkland Islands and northern Europe to name but a few), I felt sure I would have little trouble finding employment outside.

I do not criticise the system, as I believe the Army is by far the best organisation for resettling its members into the big world outside. But the constant writing of letters, CVs and the filling-in of application forms becomes tedious and soul-destroying when all one receives at the end of the day (if you are fortunate) is a polite letter of refusal. I have totalled my correspondence to date, and although I do not surpass the gentleman who recently found employment having written over 5,000 letters, I am well into the hundreds.

Ironically, I have on numerous occasions been informed by prospective employers that I am 'far too highly qualified' for the post they are attempting to fill.

Yours faithfully,


Plymouth, Devon

21 June