Britain's Armed Forces have come joint second in a recent survey about what keeps people happy in their work. According to the 2008 City & Guilds Happiness Index, it's interest in the job which is judged most important in the job statisfaction stakes. Top in the Happiness survey were beauty therapists with hairdressers and the military coming in joint second - interestingly our beloved and highly-paid bankers came bottom of the poll.
City & Guilds again report that high pay is not key to job satisfaction; but that may just be a ploy by the Establishment to keep Army pay low. There is a growing dissent being expressed on military websites by both soldiers and officers about low pay - one describes the pay as "appalling, disgusting and pathetic". Douglas Young of the British Armed Forces Federation said: "People are leaving the armed forces for financial reasons. There's no question about that." Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick Harvey said, "Junior ranks in the armed forces have terrible salaries when you compare them to people starting out in the police service or fire service. How on earth are you supposed to recruit and retain people unless you offer a decent salary?"
However, according to Air Commodore Tim Winstanley, Director Training and Education within the Ministry of Defence, it's not a great surprise that the nation's military personnel profess to be happy in their work: "The evidence we gather indicates that it is the variety, the job satisfaction and excitement of military service that provides overall contentment with the roles they perform. What comes through very clearly is that they are proud of what they do, with 91% of our most recent survey indicating a belief that the UK Armed Forces are the best in the world."
Whilst hairdressers dropped from first place last year to second in 2008, the Armed Forces came from nowhere (they weren't even placed in 2007). With all the welfare improvements promised by the Government, the UK Armed Forces are now expected to beat the beauticians and come top in the poll in 2009.
So, cut out the chat and get buffing those nails, boys!