· News

UK government launches veteran employment support

The government's Office for Veteran Affairs has launched the Veteran Employers Group (VEG), designed to help more veterans find jobs after leaving the armed forces.

The group, chaired by the minister for armed forces and veterans James Heappey, involves employers from across the UK including Jaguar Land Rover, Barclays and Amazon. 

Its first meeting centred on discussions about how companies have already benefitted from veteran employees, and what more can be done to help former members of the armed forces find work.

Veterans in employment:

Veterans not able to reach full potential

Realising the value of employing ex-military and reservists

Why you should hire veterans and encourage reserve service

The group's formation builds on the government's Veterans Strategy Action Plan launched in January 2022, which set out objectives leading up to 2024. 

Alistair Halliday, chief executive of the Forces Employment Charity, said the new group would provide necessary education on the struggles experienced by veterans.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “The setting up of the Veterans Employment Group is a direct outcome from the Veterans Strategy Action plan and is to be commended. It can help to support the promotion of veterans’ employment and the need to get better data and understanding of all the issues.

"The very nature of a military career means that anyone who has served will be equipped with a range of highly desirable and transferable skills, such as an ability to be trained, resilience, accountability and calmness under pressure.

"It is great to harness the inputs from some really fantastic companies who totally understand the value of employing veterans and who run proactive, successful and well intentioned military programmes to attract, train, mentor and progress service leavers and veterans."

Deloitte, Network Rail, OpenReach and JP Morgan are also part of the group.

James Murphy, director of TechVets, added: "We have a significant issue with underemployment in the forces community, with many leaving the military into employment that does not make use of the in-demand skills they have developed during service. Digital and tech is critical for the UK's future prosperity, and we are in need of fantastic talented people to support the growth of the tech sector.

"I understand first-hand the challenges that the forces community faces, but these individuals provide a diversity of thought yet to be capitalised upon in many tech teams and come with incredible professional skills and experience – as well as a ferocious appetite to learn new technical skills quickly."