SVETS inaugural Employer Forum 'breaks new ground'

THE Scottish Veterans Employment and Training Service (SVETS) hosted its inaugural Employer Forum at Earl Haig House, Edinburgh on Tuesday. (21st March)

The aim of the event was to bring together Scottish employers and SVETS partners to capture ideas, suggestions and actions to support the delivery of two of the Scottish Veterans' Commissioner's recommendations on employability, from his The Veterans Community: Employability, Skills and Learning report.

The two recommendations debated in the interactive workshops were the proposal of an employability pilot, "delivering an increased number of meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities, including work placements, for Service Leavers, veterans, and spouses and partners." And the second recommendation focused on "how the veterans community could be most effectively utilised to fill the known skills gaps in key sectors like education, health, IT, engineering, construction, finance and insurance".

SVETS inaugural Employer Forum

SVETS inaugural Employer Forum

The Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland attended the Forum, alongside employers including Barclays, Virgin Money, Saint Gobain, Scottish Water, Santander, WYG International, Fujitsu and 360 HR Solutions.

Veterans Organisation, Poppyscotland, Veterans Scotland, Officers Association Scotland, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and Veterans into New Enterprise were also in attendance.

Employers agreed to create the SVETS Employers Forum as a mutually supportive B2B network of public and private sector employers, collectively to:

  • Identify, build and share good practice
  • Encourage, mentor and support other like-minded employers (especially SMEs)
  • Communicate the business benefits of veterans' community activities and programmes
The SaluteMyJob team are excited to be part of this initiative.
— Andrew Jackson

Managing Director of SaluteMyJob, Andrew Jackson, said: “This employers’ forum breaks new ground. Not only does it bring together employers who are already working to support veterans and their families, they have agreed to work together collectively through this new business-to-business network. The SaluteMyJob team are excited to be part of this initiative.”

The forum was followed by a Scottish Parliamentary Reception in Holyrood that evening. The reception was organised to promote a toolkit, developed by Business in the Community (BITC), SaluteMyJob, SVETS, and the Scottish Government, to help businesses become Armed Forces-friendly employers. Capitalising on military talent: How to develop an Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice, offers a range of practical suggestions to help employers attract, recruit and retain ex-military talent. Find out more about to toolkit here.

I thought it was a useful first step and the key is to build on the momentum using the major advocates we have identified.
— Nicholas Trowell

Nicholas Trowell, Head of Frontline Risk at Barclays UK, said: "Thank you for facilitating the workshop on Tuesday, and all the hard yards going into the launch of SVETS; I thought it was a useful first step and the key is to build on the momentum using the major advocates we have identified. The evening function was a fantastic way of formally launching the toolkit and widening our pool of advocates – yet more passionate people keen to help the ‘movement’ we are trying to create."

Other activities planned for 2017 are a dinner in The Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle in May and a conference in October. Please contact us for more details at