Report calls for more research into veterans' transition support

MORE research into why more than a third of service leavers do not fully access the official MOD transition support service is one of the key recommendations made in a new report.

The Forces In Mind Trust published its updated Continue to Work: Transition Mapping Study last year and has now launched its evaluation review into the report’s effectiveness. It involved speaking to key stakeholders, policy makers and service deliverers, including SaluteMyJob’s managing director, Brigadier (Retd) Andrew Jackson, to learn more about the awareness, relevance and impact of the study on both policy development and service delivery.

Participants in the evaluation study praised the report as “valuable for bringing together and consolidating a breadth of information” and its recommendations as being “appropriate, concise, well-constructed and providing a platform for increasing focus and activities that improve transition support and understanding”.

Better understanding of why CTP not accessed

They recommended that more debate was needed with regards to the uptake of the current Government provision for Service Leavers, provided by the Career Transition Partnership, with only 66 per cent of veterans using its services.

Brigadier (Retd) Jackson said the call for more investigation into the use of the service was “spot on”.

“We need to understand why, in 2015-16, nearly 30 per cent of those eligible (some 5,000 Service leavers) did not access CTP services,” he said.

“We see those service leavers and veterans who do not access available employment support from CTP or the Service charities as especially vulnerable,” he said. “Their need for targeted, individual help is amply demonstrated by work required to help them improve their competitiveness for the jobs they seek. 

“As we have seen from our work to support the Royal British Legion’s new Warrior Tours, those with complex needs, especially wounded, injured and sick service leavers, also require professional support that is tailored to the individual, often over a protracted period.”

Further report recommendations

Further recommendations for moving forward include better training and more relevant courses, particularly in terms of aligning skills and abilities to the commercial world.

 Other key findings included:

  • Clarifying where responsibility for implementing recommendations lies.
  • Increasing knowledge sharing and dissemination of the benefits of employing ex-Service personnel amongst employers.
  • Developing Service leaver database for tracking support provision and transition outcomes for all Service leavers.
  • Considering producing additional update reports that focus on a different theme related to poor transition.
  • Considering further research that identifies how many Service leavers re-join.
  • Increasing emphasis on the positive contribution made by ex-Service personnel transitioning to civilian life.