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New Guaranteed Interview Scheme set to help Service leavers
Richmond Council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012 and has since been committed to making it easier for Service personnel and veterans to access help and advice when they need it. Claire Withey of specialist claims solicitors Bolt Burdon Kemp shares news of its latest interview-related initiative …
Richmond Council has now gone one step further in offering its support, introducing a new scheme that will see it offer all veterans a job interview to help get them back on their feet after leaving the Forces. The scheme will offer a much-needed confidence boost to veterans, as well as opening their eyes to the many opportunities available to them.
The Guaranteed Interview Scheme means that veterans will get a chance to demonstrate their strengths beyond the initial application stage. As well as enabling them to secure employment, the council will also benefit from the many skills and life experiences of those who have served their country.
This is a fantastic move as many of those leaving the Armed Forces find the transition to civilian life difficult, with securing meaningful employment being one of the main challenges they face. It is hoped that more councils will see the benefits of such a scheme and follow suit in offering similar schemes in their local area.
The importance of the scheme
The scheme is crucial in light of the fact that some of those leaving the Forces experience a difficult and challenging transition to civilian life. For some of them, a career in the Forces is all they have ever known and when that career comes to an end they are left feeling uncertain about their future, and unsure of what civilian employment might be suitable for them.
The Guaranteed Interview Scheme aims to make this transition easier by:
- helping veterans overcome barriers to finding civilian employment
- reducing the risk of health and welfare problems as a result of long-term unemployment
- redressing the balance for veterans’ re-employment prospects by giving them the chance to improve their transition back to civilian life
- complementing the re-employment support provided to veterans by the MoD
- helping the council to benefit from the transferable skills and qualities that many Veterans have, including:
— a good work ethic
— self-management and self-motivation
— key organisational skills.
The double-edged benefit: combating homelessness
As well as assisting in securing civilian employment for veterans, the scheme also has another valuable benefit.
Homelessness is a serious and sad problem for some of those leaving the Forces after many years of service, with many homeless Veterans being missed by local authorities and thus losing out on the support and housing available to them. This scheme will give those who need it the confidence to seek and secure civilian employment faster than would have otherwise been the case. It is hoped that this means veterans will not get stuck in a cycle where lengthy periods of unemployment reduce confidence, which in turn reduces the likelihood of securing employment, which sadly can lead to homelessness.
Schemes like this are so important for veterans and are an example of a council going above and beyond to give something back to those who have served their country. I hope that once other local councils and organisations see the invaluable and long-lasting benefits of the scheme, they will take the initiative to introduce similar schemes so that the positive consequences for veterans can be as far reaching as possible.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Claire Withey is an associate solicitor in the Military Claims Department at London-based law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp, acting for Service personnel in claims involving personal injury, clinical negligence, bullying and harassment.
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