How Military Skills Are Valuable To An NHS Career

This service connects NHS employers to the Armed Forces community

Skills developed in the military present a valuable opportunity to serve the public in other areas of civic life, according to an organisation that connects employers in the NHS to people from the Armed Forces community.

Many of the skills learned in military life, such as being able to work under pressure, resourcefulness, resilience and teamwork, are all highly desirable to NHS employers says Step into Health, which offers an access route into employment and other career development opportunities within the health service.

There is a large range of roles available in the NHS, including many non-clinical ones. Engineers, estates management, porters, coders, catering staff and drivers are all needed.

The Step into Health programme provides support and puts service leavers and their families in touch with employment opportunities in the NHS.

The programme also helps to set up work placements which offer the opportunity to experience a taste of working within the service.

Porters from NHS

Ronnie Waugh, who served in the British Army for 24 years before he was medically discharged, is among those who have found new opportunities in the NHS.

Following an initial work placement, he began working in the NHS as an X-ray bank porter.

Ronnie said: “I would have no hesitation in recommending anyone, no matter their background in the forces, to a career in the NHS. The support you receive from your initial contact through to employment and beyond is amazing.

“The skills I learnt in the military, my work ethic, loyalty and professional pride have certainly started me on the right foot.”

Man on PC, NHS Employers

Since leaving the RAF, David-John Williams now works within an NHS organisational change team. David-John didn’t complete a work placement but was linked directly to a vacancy after attending an employment fair.

David-John said: “From my experience the characteristics that mark out ex-forces personnel, whilst all terribly clichéd, are their leadership skills, an appetite for responsibility and an ability to get things done.

"Step into Health provided me a great opportunity to get my ‘foot in the door’ and demonstrate my own capabilities in the NHS for which I am very grateful.”

During October, the Step into Health programme will launch a new online platform for service leavers and families to register their details and indicate their interest in roles in the NHS.

Interested candidates will be able to set location preferences, role preferences and establish connections with NHS employers across the country who have pledged their support to the programme.

Visit to find out more about the programme and to get in contact with your local Step into Health-pledged NHS trust.