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Defence Defence

Ensure veterans’ skills and qualifications are recognised by civilian employers

Last updated: 01:35pm 1 January 2019

We will help veterans to start new careers by ensuring that the skills and qualifications they gained in service are recognised by civilian employers…

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.42

Our verdict

The Armed Forces Covenant was published in 2011 and enshrined in law in the Armed Forces Act 2011. Since that time, it has formed the core of government policy towards veterans. It states that:

  • veterans will face no disadvantage compared to other citizens
  • special consideration is sometimes appropriate for veterans

Support programmes for veterans entering civilian employment, such as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Career Transition Partnership (CTP), or the Veteran Employment Transition Support (VETS) partnership, have been the traditional mechanisms for trying to ensure that there continues to be “‘no difference’ in employment status between working-age veterans and non- veterans”.

But what has changed since this government came to power?

In November 2018, the government published the “first ever UK-wide strategy on the delivery of support for veterans”, The Strategy for Our Veterans. One of its key themes is “Employment, education and skills”, and it acknowledges that:

“Some employers have limited understanding of the military workplace…which can add to the challenge of entering employment for those leaving the Armed Forces.”

The strategy has a long-term objective to ensure that veterans enter appropriate employment and enhance their careers throughout their working lives.

Alongside the strategy, the government launched a consultation containing questions for employers aimed at gaining an understanding of the best way to overcome existing barriers to the recruitment of veterans.

The strategy paper and the consultation are evidence of ongoing efforts by the government to fulfil this  pledge, and represent early stages of an attempt to embed improvements in the employment prospects faced by veterans, so this policy is ‘in progress’. To move it to ‘done’ we would expect to see a clear action plan arising from the consultation and changes being implemented. Follow this policy for the latest developments.

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