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RETIRED GURKHAS TO CIVILIAN CAREER TRANSITION

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Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION

The fact that the maximum number of years of military service in Britain is 30 years and the recruitment age goes as low as 17 years, individuals end up retiring at a very early age. More so, the members of the military may be forced to leave the military service at an earlier time before even completion of the active duty career years. This results to a complex situation forcing individuals to seek employment continuation in the civilian sector (Baruch & Quick, 2007; Burrell et al., 2003). The situation with the Gurkhas who settle in the UK is even more complicated as they live in the country as non-citizens, forcing them to seek active employment until the required retirement age in order to evade deportation (The Gurkha Welfare Trust, 2014). Therefore, this results to a complex situation for the Gurkhas in selecting a career that will not only be compatible to them as former military personnel, but also as expatriates from a country that has a very different business culture to Britain.

The British Army continuously offers varieties of training programs, such as shorter vocational courses, briefing package for job opportunities and other useful information to apply in civilian life (DASA, 2010; Spiegel & Shultz, 2003). The main reason behind this training programs are to assist on transforming military qualifications to civilian sector; prior to departure. As much as these programs helps smoothen career transition from military to civilian, there are numerous challenges the former militants face as civilians.

The uniqueness of the military retirement programs is mainly due to the ability of members retiring at an early age provides many with a long post-military life that may require individuals to seek other forms of employment in order to sustain their financial stability (Burrell et al., 2003). This will always result in many individuals facing numerous challenges when making decisions regarding their career direction after retirement from the military (Baruch & Quick, 2007; Spiegel & Shultz, 2003). This paper examined the difficulties the Gurkhas face when transitioning from military to civilian life in the United Kingdom.


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