The Scottish Government has welcomed the third report by the Scottish Veterans Commissioner, Eric Fraser CBE.
The Veterans Community – Employability, Skills and Learning report was published in November and the Scottish Government has responded positively to all of the Commissioner's recommendations. The aim of the report was to generate debate and ultimately, provide direction for improving employment and learning opportunities for the veterans community in Scotland.
We look at some of Mr Fraser’s key recommendations and the Scottish Government’s responses, including the recognition of SaluteMyJob's work, alongside Business in the Community, to create a toolkit for employers looking to recruit ex-military personnel.
Key recommendations from Mr Fraser’s report
- Work Placements: The Scottish Government should work with employers - both small and large - to find ways of offering more placements to Service Leavers, veterans, spouses and partners. This should be in addition to those offered by Career Transition Partnership.
Government response: The Scottish Government supports this recommendation and work is currently underway to promote work placements for veterans to employers. In October last year, the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work launched the Supporting Veterans into Employment project, developed in partnership between Business in the Community Scotland and SaluteMyJob. This initiative encourages businesses of all sizes and sectors proactively to recruit and benefit from employing veterans in the civilian workforce. A best practice toolkit for employers, developed through this initiative, will be launched later in March 2017. This will include guidance on how best to use work placements to support veterans into employment. The toolkit will be shared via employers networks with different employer groups and through other routes such as the Developing the Young Workforce Regional Groups.
- Veterans Employability Strategic Working Group: The Scottish Government should establish a Veterans Employability Strategic Working Group of key partners to provide strategic leadership and to oversee the activity required to fulfil the ambitions of more, and better, employment opportunities for veterans, as articulated in this report and in Renewing Our Commitments.
Government response: We will establish and provide support for a Veterans Employability Strategic Group with senior membership from key organisations identified by the Commissioner, including Skills Development Scotland, the Careers Transitions Partnership and the Department for Work and Pensions. This group should also work closely with existing delivery-focussed groups such as Scottish Veterans Employment and Training Service (SVETS). (SVETS is a collaborative initiative between agencies in Scotland that are actively engaged in veterans’ employment, with SaluteMyJob a partner organisation.)
- Filling the Skills Gap: The Scottish Government to review 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. In doing so, it should consider whether its recent initiative to attract former oil and gas workers into teaching in the North East of Scotland should be replicated for the veterans community.
Government response: The Scottish Government supports this recommendation and, as proposed, it will ask the Veterans Employability Strategic Group to consider how it can best be implemented as an early priority.
To read the Scottish Government’s full response to the Scottish Veterans Commissioner’s third report, click here.