The world’s largest and leading celebration of military veterans in second careers returns for its fifth annual edition, with a shortlist showcasing the huge breadth of ex-forces talent.

Cumbrian businessman Neil Jurd has been shortlisted in this year’s British Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

The entrepreneur, from Kendal, is in the running for the Military Values in Business category when the awards are announced in September.

They are the largest business celebration globally of the Armed Forces community and demonstrate the significant scale and range of talents among UK veterans.

Mr Jurd set up his own specialist leadership development business in 2017. Centred around his book, The Leadership Book, he created the Leader Connect platform which has expanded to include videos, a podcast and an app.

A former Lieutenant Colonel in the Army, he also founded the Michelle Jurd Trust, in memory of his late wife, which supports and challenges young people and ex-service personnel in Cumbria.

He said: “I’m very proud to have served in the Armed Forces, and it is an honour that our business has been shortlisted for this award.

“Everything I do as a leadership coach draws on the values and skills I learned in the Army, in particular the doctrines of Mission Command and Serve To Lead.”

Depictions of veterans in the media fuel misconceptions which create and exacerbate the challenges facing service leavers. Since launching in 2018, the Ex-Forces in Business Awards has led the way in promoting a more positive and accurate representation of veterans, as assets to employers across all major industries.

The Awards programme is also a powerful vehicle for increasing visibility of both role models and career opportunities for veterans, and educating employers on the exceptional transferable talents among military service leavers.

This year’s UK shortlist exhibits the second-career achievements of more than 200 veterans and reservists, whittled down from a record-breaking 700 nominations.

The winners of this year’s awards will be announced at a ceremony on September 8. Broadcaster Jacqui Oatley MBE will welcome more than  1,000 business and military leaders to the Grosvenor House hotel’s Great Room on Park Lane.

She will also introduce a programme of live entertainment and special guest speakers including Air Marshal Dame Sue Gray, the UK's first female three-star officer.

Sponsors of the awards include Barclays, Amazon, Microsoft, AECOM, Aphex, Barratt Developments, FDM Group, Galliford Try, Irwin Mitchell, Santander and Vistry Group. The winners are decided by a judging panel of business leaders from organisations including Boeing, Dell, Ernst & Young, GB Snowsport, John Lewis, Knight Frank, Lloyds Banking Group, MBDA, Northern Trust, Provident Financial Group, Serco and the NHS.

Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory, CEO at SSAFA, Official Charity Partner of the Awards, said: “All of us at SSAFA send our warmest congratulations to those who have been shortlisted for this the fifth annual British Ex-Forces in Business Awards.

“SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, is extremely proud and grateful to be the official charity partner of this fine event that celebrates veteran employment and helps to increase visibility of business role models for servicemen and women.

“It is heartening to see such a large volume and breadth of employers acknowledging the skills and values of those who have served their country.”