In Great Britain, just under a quarter of working age veterans are not in employment. However, for the first time this January, Veterans who are looking for employment on ‘civvy street’ can take advantage of a new service, Veterans’ Gateway.
With statistics showing that this is the busiest week for searches for ‘jobs’ in the UK,‘Veterans’ Gateway’ is the first point of contact for veterans who need support when it comes to achieving their career potential.
Veterans’ Gateway, was launched in June, to provide a first point of contact for veterans and their families who need support.
Since the launch of the service employment has been one of the top five areas of concern which individuals using Veterans’ Gateway have sought help and guidance on.
There are over five specialist employment referral partners that can not only help service leavers transition out of the Armed Forces, but also help those who are looking to change careers and even start up their own businesses.
Former Soldier Jel Bearder ended his military career in the Royal Horse Artillery after serving in the UK, Germany, Cyprus and Canada. During his time in the forces he always loved sport, representing his unit in several disciplines.
Jel became very excited about the potential to work for British Military Fitness (BMF) but found he would need to complete an NVQ level one course before he could be considered as a trainer. Not in regular work at the time, the course fees were beyond his reach. Within a couple of weeks, The Royal British Legion employment service Civvy Street had confirmed that not only would they cover the costs of the level one NVQ but also the level two.
Jel has been working for BMF for over nine years now and is now the park manager at four London events as well as representing BMF at events across the country and abroad.
Jel said: “Leaving the forces and then having to choose and find a new career can be a really challenging time. You need support around you and having experts on hand is vital. The service Veteran Gateway offers will be invaluable for those beginning or already on their journey to a new career.”
“Having done it myself I’d say to any veteran to use what help is out there. It’s given me a direction and purpose and if 2018 is your year for finding a new path contact the service to see if there’s support available”.
Over 14,000 skilled and experienced individuals leave the Armed Forces each year and although in the last few years, the situation has improved, The Royal British Legion research has previously found that working age veterans in the UK were nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as their civilian contemporaries.
Assistant Director of Veterans’ Gateway Mark Collins said “Having been through the process myself, I know that leaving the Armed Forces can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming. Veterans’ Gateway is there to assist veterans in identifying what support is available to them or their circumstances and who’s best to give it. No matter what stage they are at, there are experts on hand to help with a range of employment services”
Providing a first point of contact for veterans who need support, Veterans’ Gateway connects users with the right organisation that can help on a range of issues including housing, finance and mental health.
Veterans’ Gateway is a consortium project delivered by The Royal British Legion, Combat Stress, SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity, Poppyscotland and Connect Assist.
To contact Veterans’ Gateway Call: 0808 802 1212 Text: 81212 or visit: www.veteransgateway.org.uk
NOTES TO THE EDITOR:
About Veterans’ Gateway
Veterans’ Gateway is a new service launched in response to Lord Ashcroft’s Veterans’ Transition Review that is a first point of contact for veterans, their families and carers who are in need of support. The new £2 million service is funded from the Covenant Fund allocated by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and will be delivered by a consortium comprising The Royal British Legion, Poppyscotland, Combat Stress, Connect Assist, the Ministry of Defence and SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity. Veterans’ Gateway represents a pathway to a full list of services from housing and recovery to mental health services, financial and employment advice. The service aims to reduce the confusion for veterans seeking support within the military charity sector and will ensure it can signpost to the right service for any need a veteran may present with.
For more information on Veterans’ Gateway, or if you are in need of support, visit www.veteransgateway.org.uk, call 0808 802 1212 or text 81212
About the Covenant Fund
The Armed Forces Covenant sets out the relationship between the nation, the government and the Armed Forces. It recognises that the whole nation has a moral obligation to current and former members of the armed forces and their families, and it sets out how they should expect to be treated. The Covenant Fund has £10 million each year to support the Armed Forces Covenant by funding projects which address specific priorities.
Employment Referral Partners available of Veterans’ Gateway
- Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. Regardless of time served, all members of the Armed Forces can benefit from CTP support when leaving Service. ctp.org.uk
- Mission Motorsport, The Forces’ Motorsport Charity, provides opportunities in motorsport to those in need from the Service and Veterans’ communities, and is the official provider of disabled and adaptive motorsport to Defence. missionmotorsport.org
- RFEA is the leading provider of job opportunities and career advice for ex forces men and women through life. rfea.org.uk
- The Royal British Legion provides life-long support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces and their families. britishlegion.org.uk
- Walking With the Wounded supports veterans with physical, mental or social injuries on their journey to reintegrate back into society, regain their independence and secure sustainable employment. walkingwiththewounded.org.uk
- X-Forces is a Social Enterprise (CIC) that nurtures entrepreneurial ambition and enterprise skills specifically for the military community. x-forces.com
 MOD, Annual population survey: UK armed forces veterans residing in Great Britain 2016, (2017).
 Google Trends 2016 for the UK
 The Royal British Legion, A UK Household Survey of the ex-Service community (2014) p.64