The UK government recently announced the launch of the Veteran’s Strategy Action Plan: 2022-2024, a comprehensive plan that outlines the steps the country will take to improve the lives of British veterans over the next three years.
At FDM, it is our mission to support ex-forces from all ranks to make the transition back into the civilian working world and thrive outside of the military. We believe the new Veteran’s Strategy Action Plan is a major milestone and will play a key role in supporting the cause. Let’s take a closer look at what this new government plan consists of, the real impact it will have for ex-forces and their families, and what you, as a business, can expect following the roll-out of these new initiatives.
- What is the Veteran’s Strategy Action Plan?
- How will the new Veteran’s Action Plan help ex-forces personnel?
- What impact will the Veteran’s Action Plan have for businesses?
What is the Veteran’s Strategy Action Plan?
Following on from the 2018 Strategy For Our Veterans, the Veteran’s Strategy Action Plan is a new initiative set out by the UK government to support veterans from 2022 to 2024. The government has committed £70m to support the proposed plans, which consists of five key focus areas:
- Providing support for veterans and their families
- Improving veteran employability
- Giving the veteran community a voice and learning from their experiences
- Addressing historic operations and making positive changes
- Standardising the high level of support for veterans across the UK
The government pledges to “make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran by 2028.”
How will the new Veteran’s Action Plan help ex-forces personnel?
The Veteran’s Action Plan sets out to empower ex-forces and help improve their livelihoods with a number of initiatives. We’ll run you through how exactly the government proposes to achieve this, honing in on some of the key government plans.
Support veterans and their families
- The government has launched Op COURAGE, a mental health service for veterans in England. To date, more than 100 healthcare providers have been accredited as ‘veteran aware’ and 100 GP surgeries as ‘veteran friendly’. Over the course of the project, an additional £18m of funding will be provided to support veteran health services.
- As the government invests £44m for a Veterans UK portal, veterans will now be able to access all support services digitally, such as pensions and compensations. It will also be funding renovations to the Veterans Gateway website to ensure veterans have easy access to support online.
- New laws have been implemented to improve veterans’ access to social housing and get veterans off the streets and into safe accommodation.
Improve veteran employability
- Employer incentives will encourage more companies to take on veterans. The National Insurance contribution holiday scheme is forecasted to help 15,000 people within the first year alone.
- The government has already sold over 30,000 Veterans Railcards to provide easy travel for ex-forces and their families, and plan to keep this up.
- Government plans include making improvements to the Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme and Career Transition Partnership to ensure veterans receive appropriate training and resettlement support.
- Rolling out Great Place to Work for Veterans, there will be more opportunities for veterans to progress professionally in the Civil Service, teaching, the prison service and uniformed services.
Review the historic hurt or disadvantage of certain veteran communities
- Veterans from pre-2000 with historic service offences due to their sexual orientation can apply for disregard from the Home Office.
- Research into the lived experience of minorities, non-UK and female veterans will help gain a better understanding of how services can be improved for these individuals.
- Improved reporting methods for veteran suicide will be implemented, tracking back over the past 10 years of veteran deaths due to suicide, drug and alcohol abuse.
Addressing historic operations and their impact
- The Overseas Operations (Serving Personnel and Veterans) Act is set out to protect veterans facing legal proceedings associated with historic operations overseas.
- The government sets out to deliver on commitments relating to the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past.
Ensuring a high standard of support across the UK
- The Census in England, Wales and Scotland include a standardised veterans question to provide greater insight into where veterans are living and inform future projects to support their needs.
- Veterans Commissioners have been appointed to represent the views of the country’s veterans.
These are just some of the 60 new plans the government sets out to achieve with the launch of Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan. Read the full Plan for more information.
What impact will the Veteran’s Action Plan have for employers?
The Veteran’s Action Plan will improve employability for ex-forces, providing appropriate training and job accessibility. As such, this new government project will also widen the talent pool for employers, giving them access to a highly skilled and experienced workforce.
The Ministry of Defense estimates that there are over 2 million armed forces veterans residing in Great Britain, with the number of working-age veterans predicted to increase significantly in the coming years. Unfortunately, the veteran employment gap is still prominent. Many working-age vets are left without full-time work; are in part-time employment or unable to fully exercise their skills or experience within their new role, leaving them working unfulfilling jobs where they are overqualified. In fact, veterans are statistically much less likely to be in full or part-time employment than the general population.
Yet, this is at a loss for employers. A military career equips individuals with a variety of transferable skills, niche role-specific skills and life experiences - a lot of which cannot be learnt in school or working behind a desk! Critical thinking, compassion, adaptability, initiative and time management are just a few of the many skills acquired throughout the military and that are desirable traits for any civilian job. In addition to impeccable soft skills, armed forces have some of the best engineering and technical training in the world, making them the ideal candidates for roles in these sectors, too.
However, government initiatives can only do so much. Ex-forces have the potential to make a valuable contribution to your business and bring new perspectives to your teams, so long as you give them the opportunity and the right support. We understand that building this infrastructure internally can take time and money, and will not always be possible for some businesses.
That’s why we offer renowned training programmes and ongoing professional and wellbeing support for junior and senior ex-forces personnel looking to launch a civilian career. This means that the clients we work with can benefit from a highly skilled talent pipeline across a range of roles and industries, as well as access to our existing employee support networks.