The UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has launched a venture to apply veterans’ specialist skills to defence science.

The pilot project aims to harness the specialist skills and careers veterans learnt during their time in the military and apply them to projects across Dstl. The pilot is part of wider defence innovation funding designed to retain STEM skills within Dstl and the wider Ministry of Defence (MOD).

For the project, Dstl has created a specialised careers site hiring for roles across air, sea and land domains as well as niche positions such as radar engineers and analysts.

A Dstl spokesperson said: “We’re trying to work out where these skilled veterans are – it’s a different way to try and reach that community.

“We’re not just offering you a job; this is an opportunity for a second career within MOD, one which includes personal development and qualifications. It’s a fairly wide approach – the focus is slightly different. We’re after a broad range of technical skills across nine different roles and we wanted a range of applicants.”

If successful, the project could be rolled across other defence STEM employers like the UK’s Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) or Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S).

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DASA chief of staff Nicholas Barsby said: “My role is to bring the experiences and skills that I learnt from my full career and try and help out the people here to do their job in delivering innovation.

“I was really privileged to be able to help out, in my final years, with both Afghanistan and Iraq bringing in some urgent operational requirements which directly saved lives. It’s that focus and energy which I saw then being applied to help those guys out in the field that I was very pleased to support and doing so again now in a different way.”

On the specialist recruitment site, Dstl says it is looking for applicants with military experience, adding that the agency is ‘not offering you a job’ but rather, ‘a second career with development and progression’.