Office for Veterans’ Affairs launches new group to step up veteran employment

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Businesses across the country have come together this week to support veterans in employment and help veterans enter employment after leaving the Armed Forces.

The new Veteran Employers Group (VEG), established by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and chaired by the Minister for Armed Forces and Veterans, James Heappey, met today.

The group heard how businesses, including Jaguar Land Rover, Barclays and Amazon,  have benefited from the skills former members of the Armed Forces can bring to civilian jobs and what more can be done to help veterans into employment.

Members of the group also discussed how firms have saved thousands of pounds through the government’s National Insurance Contributions relief for employers who hire veterans for their first role post-service. This included praise from the Federation of Small Businesses, who highlighted how Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have benefitted from the scheme.

Minister for Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs James Heappey said:

Employment is the most important factor in people making a success of civilian life.

It was fantastic to hear today from businesses on the incredible impact that veterans can bring to any organisation.

The government is supporting veterans into employment, including with tax cuts for businesses who hire veterans.

Craig Beaumont, Chief of External Affairs, Federation of Small Businesses said:

FSB is delighted to support and play its part in the Veteran Employers Group, meeting for the first time today.  We have campaigned on the benefits of employing service leavers, promoting the benefits of taking on someone with the values and skills that they have gained while serving our country.

Alongside X-Forces Enterprise, we made the case for a National Insurance reduction for those who take on veterans.  This is now in place and boosting employment of this key group just at the time the economy really needs them.

The Veteran Employers Group was committed to in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan earlier this year. The aim of the group is to identify best practice in veteran employability and identify potential barriers to employment that the government can address.

Paula Molyneux, Programme Manager, Barclays Military and Veteran Outreach said:

At Barclays, we understand the need for all businesses to help Service Leavers and Veterans into civilian employment.  As one of the UK’s leading employers of the Veterans and Reservists we recognise and have seen first-hand the huge value these colleagues bring to our business, and the contribution they make to the wider economy and society. Barclays is delighted to be part of the Veterans’ Employers Group to maximise employment opportunities for Serving Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, Reservists and the wider military family.

TechVets said:

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 UKs 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. Careers in tech can also give veterans a great sense of purpose as they embark on a journey to help build the future for society.

Our mission at TechVets is to create a bridge into information technology careers for the Forces community, and this cannot be achieved alone. Collaboration is critical and I’m extremely excited to support the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to bring together great companies that are delivering successful employment programmes for the Forces community, so we can shape the future of employment for all our veterans and their families.

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