Specialist support for job seekers
A new initiative that sees RFEA confirmed as lead partner for The Royal British Legion’s employment support programme is set to help thousands of ex-Forces personnel and their families in civilian life
Building on a long-standing partnership between RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity and The Royal British Legion, a recently announced, newly strengthened support initiative recognises RFEA’s credentials as the leading expert in providing life-long, life-changing employment support and training opportunities to Service leavers, veterans and reservists and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving. The scheme will see RFEA continue to work collaboratively with employment partners, replacing The Royal British Legion’s Civvy Street initiative.
Under a new simplified process, all Employment Support and Employment Grant enquiries will be directed to a team more than 120 strong, which operates in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and every region of England. Team members will provide the necessary support to job seekers (ranging from finding the right job to securing funding for education/training), based on extensive knowledge of both the military environment and the local civilian jobs market.
RFEA will refer those interested in becoming entrepreneurs to X-Forces Enterprise (XFE), which specialises in supporting those wanting to embark on self-employment, and to a range of specialist military employment charities delivering training or other tailored support.
How to apply
Any Service leaver, reservist or veteran (regardless of circumstances, rank, length of service or reason for leaving) who would like RFEA’s advice and support, can start by registering on its website, emailing or calling its Veterans Support Team on 0121 262 3058.
What happens next?
Once you’ve applied for support, here’s what to expect …
- An advisor will be in touch to find out more about your situation and how your job search is going.
- RFEA will carry out a ‘needs assessment’ that will help it understand any barriers to employment, relating to issues such as health, housing, debt, and so on. If any additional needs are identified, an advisor will then be able refer you to other organisations that can provide the relevant help required.
- RFEA’s regional employment advisors and specialist vocational advisors can then help develop your employability, to present you to employers in the best possible way. They are based in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and every region of England, so can provide advice on what to apply for, how to find work and develop a good CV, all based on their expert knowledge of local employers and the job market in your area.
- Your advisor will grant you access to the bespoke job search application, RightJob, which has jobs specially sourced according to the skills and aspirations of ex-Forces personnel, to get you on your way to finding a job that is suited to you.
- RFEA will also support you with interviews – both before and after – to help you find employment opportunities that will enable you to thrive.
My support experience
Following the death of his wife, Graham became a single parent to two primary school-age daughters. This dramatic change in circumstances meant he had to quickly change career in order to work around his daughters’ needs. With RFEA’s help with research and CV writing, he has been able to undertake a number of part-time courses and has forged ahead with a new career in horticulture. He is now about to embark on the next level of his training and has been awarded a Royal British Legion Grant to fund the equipment he needs as a prerequisite for his new course.
Graham says: ‘When my circumstances changed, I didn’t really know where to start. Having someone to help narrow down my choices, and prepare me for a new world of training and work really has been invaluable. Without RFEA’s help, I actually don’t know what I would have done.’
Gavin Baker, based in South Shields, spent 24 years serving in the Army, but struggled to find permanent civilian employment. After getting in touch with RFEA, Gavin was given invaluable help with his CV as well as networking opportunities that have resulted in him recently starting a new job with Metro as a mechanical maintenance technician. He says, ‘Once I was in touch with my RFEA advisor I never looked back. He pointed me in the direction of RightJob, a website that specialises in jobs that are suited to people who have served, and was able to help me find positions that fitted my profile perfectly. Within two days, I’d applied for the role at Metro.
‘I’m so grateful to RFEA for the help it has given me – now I’m in a job I really enjoy and that has lots of potential for career progression. Finding work has made a huge difference; it has relieved a lot of stress and worry over money, and has made me feel I’ve got a purpose again.’
Partners in support
Says Mark Collins, assistant director (operations) at The Royal British Legion: ‘With RFEA’s knowledge of employment needs and opportunities for our ex-Forces, as well as its clear understanding of the incredible support available through our other partners, we know that those seeking help will be in safe hands with RFEA at the helm. This is a wonderful strengthening of the partnership between The Royal British Legion and RFEA – and the previously forged relationships with the other employment partners – placing the delivery of employment support squarely with the specialists.’
Alistair Halliday, chief executive of RFEA, adds: ‘We are delighted to be given the opportunity to lead on employment support for The Royal British Legion. RFEA has helped almost 20,000 ex-military job seekers and their families in the last year alone and we are looking forward to providing our life-changing support to many more through this partnership.’
RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity exists to provide life-long, life-changing support, job opportunities, and training to Service leavers, reservists, veterans and their families, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service or reason for leaving.
Founded in 1885 and operating across the UK, it has the specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment. It works in partnership with other organisations and employers who, like RFEA, respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served.
Last year, RFEA …
- supported 19,758 ex-Forces personnel
• 62% Army
• 21% Royal Navy and Royal Marines
• 17% RAF
- created 84,976 job opportunities.
Of those it helped:
- 73% improved their aspiration and motivation
- 68% improved their job skills and experience
- 66% improved the stability of their lives.
About The Royal British Legion
The Royal British Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity, providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces, past and present, and their families. The Legion champions Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for its annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy.