EMPLOYERS recruiting new staff in Oxfordshire are being urged to consider those leaving the armed forces.

Up to 250 personnel will leave the forces in the county this year.

And similar numbers are expected in future years as the impact of defence cuts hits one of the largest employers in the county.

Now the Ministry of Defence has teamed up with Oxfordshire County Council to make bosses aware of the many highly-skilled individuals joining the jobs market, often for the first time.

County council leader Keith Mitchell said he met representatives from all three armed forces recently.

He said: “I’ve been hugely impressed by their confidence, method of working, pride in what they do and skills they have. I can’t think of better training than that the military receive.”

The total number of service personnel in Oxfordshire is 11,000, broken down into 8,770 regular service members, 1,660 civilian support staff and 522 members of reserve forces such as the Territiorial Army, making it the third largest employer in the county.

Official estimates show the MoD as a whole generates £577m for the county economy.

Speaking at a special event at RAF Brize Norton, Major Mags Miller of the Royal Logistics Corps, said: “What employer wouldn’t want a self-motivated, disciplined, smart individual who is used to being trained and is work ready?

“Many will have significant technical skills and experience of leading and managing others. Inspirational leadership is the bedrock of military success.”

Last year the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), a group run by the MoD and the Right Management employment group, supported 15,000 “service leavers” nationally.

It runs workshops which teach topics ranging from starting a business to interview techniques and also allows employers to register their vacancies free of charge.

Ruth Tomlinson of the CTP said: “More than 90 per cent of service leavers are settled within six months, either through employment, education or retirement.”

Stephen Burgess, board director at Abingdon-based builders Leadbitter, said: “We have a history of working with the armed forces.

“They bring leadership qualities and logistical thinking which are good for construction. We are keen to take more on.”

Ben Jackson, chairman of the Bicester Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Oxfordshire Skills Board, said: “The key things employers will see are a good work ethic and the right mind set.

“The actual skills needed can be trained later.”