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FiMT funds year-long study to better understand employment outcomes for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers

The Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) has awarded Warwick Institute for Employment Research (IER), in partnership with QinetiQ and RFEA, £111,352 to conduct a year-long study to better understand the employment outcomes for Senior Non-Commissioned Officers (SNCOs).

Mixed-methods of research will be used, which will include: analysis of the latest employment statistics, surveys and interviews with veteran SNCOs and interviews with SNCOs’ spouses and partners.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “We have identified in our previous work that some Senior Non-Commissioned Officers may face a more difficult transition into civilian lives, in part due to employment pathways when they leave service.

“By researching the current situation, we can determine what is needed to create lasting positive change. We will then re-shape the environment by influencing policies to enable this group to have a successful post-service career.”

Clare Lyonette from IER added: “We are excited to find out more about the employment challenges for this particular group of veterans and to identify how their skills and experience can be successfully transferred to a civilian environment.  Our research aims to provide lasting benefits, not only for the veteran SNCOs, but also for their families.”


New report from Forces in Mind Trust calls for increased awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant

Less than a quarter (24%) of British organisations have heard of the Armed Forces Covenant and only 8% have signed it, according to report

A new report titled ‘Benefit not Burden’ commissioned by the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT) and conducted by Shared Intelligence, calls for increased awareness around the benefits to businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations in the UK in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant and being a veteran friendly employer.

Less than a quarter (24%) of the organisations surveyed in FiMT’s research had heard of the Armed Forces Covenant and only 8% had signed it. The report finds that the smaller an organisation is, the less likely it is to be aware of the Covenant or to have signed it or taken any action.

This lack of awareness, coupled with the lack of understanding around the potential disadvantage facing members of the Armed Forces Community and knowing what type of action an organisation can take, is a significant barrier to organisations signing and enacting the Armed Forces Covenant.

The report launched today, Tuesday 22nd January, at an event in the House of Commons, to an audience of MPs, Ministry of Defence representatives, and public sector and business leaders. It outlines straightforward steps to encourage more organisations across the UK to sign the Covenant, including supporting trade associations and membership bodies to promote the Covenant; they have a key role in encouraging organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and highlighting its benefits.

Most organisations surveyed in the report that are aware of the Covenant had heard about it from a customer or client (23%), an individual within the organisation (22%) or another organisation within a supply chain (17%). Just 3% of organisations cite trade associations as the reason they are aware of the Covenant, and only 10% cite the Ministry of Defence.

Other recommendations in the report include mobilising the voice of the Armed Forces Community to encourage the organisations they work with to sign the Covenant, and encouraging local authorities, other public bodies and large businesses to use their supply chains and procurement processes to encourage businesses and other organisations to sign.

FiMT’s report provides evidence that organisations which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant are more likely to see direct benefits of employing ex-Service personnel, including recruiting or retaining skilled staff and enhancing a company’s reputation. 28% of organisations surveyed in the research claimed that they are likely to sign the Covenant over the next year.

Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: “Ex-Service personnel offer a substantial premium of capability to a prospective employer, and a commercial supplier can reap the rewards of customer loyalty and brand reputation by offering the Armed Forces Community advantageous access to goods and services, while ensuring their unique background in the military does not create disadvantage.

“The research in this report shows that there are many organisations who wish to support the Armed Forces Community, but who lack the knowledge and understanding of how to do so. It has identified some straightforward steps that could be taken relatively easily, and which would result in a substantial improvement in how the nation fulfils its side of the Covenant.”

Phil Swann, Executive Chair of Shared Intelligence, said: “Our research identified several ways of increasing awareness of the Covenant, including the role of trade bodies, supply chain relationships and mobilising the voice of the Armed Forces Community itself. The best ambassadors for the Covenant are businesses which have benefitted from delivering it.”

You can see a copy of the Executive Summary and full report here.


Armed Forces Charities Sector leadership programme awards 27 places for emerging leaders

Clore Social Leadership, together with the Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), and Cobseo are delighted to announce details of over 20 successful emerging leaders who will participate in the second Cobseo Emerging Leader Programme designed for the Armed Forces charities sector and core funded by FiMT.

The Cobseo Emerging Leader Programme is a 6-month leadership development journey aimed at emerging leaders working in the Armed Forces charities sector. Designed in partnership with Cobseo and FiMT, the programme will seek to build agile, resilient and effective leadership while consolidating solidarity, collaboration and joint action within the sector.

The 2019 cohort consists of 20+ leaders working in a variety of Armed Forces charities sector organisations, including larger charities such as SSAFA, Poppyscotland, The Royal British Legion and Seafarers UK, as well as smaller ones, for example Bravehound and East Sussex Veterans’ Hub.

Commenting on the 2019 intake, Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust and a Cobseo Executive Committee member said:

“We are delighted to be funding this second bespoke Cobseo version of Clore’s prestigious Emerging Leader Programme, particularly in light of the achievements of participants on the inaugural programme last year.

Some of FiMT’s aims are to encourage collaboration and enhance leadership, thus strengthening the Armed Forces charities sector. The Clore programme is a perfect example of this in action. This programme delivers a measurable impact on the broader sector and the benefit to the participants will also enable them to empower their colleagues. All of the Cobseo Executive Committee and FiMT wish the 2019 participants well with the programme, and we’re looking forward to engaging with our future senior leaders.”

Participants will have the opportunity to develop their social leadership abilities and utilise their applied learnings in team challenges to immediately transfer the skills they gain from the programme back into their organisations.

Commenting on the impact of the previous programme, Rob Thorburn, Grants Officer at the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“The programme is a holistic leadership experience and you benefit from the support of experts and peers. It will give you and your organisation the best possible preparation in order to confidently lead and succeed in your working life.”

As it builds on all aspects of Clore Social’s Social Leaders’ Capabilities Framework, the programme will help leaders become more empowered, focused, and generous, so that they can effectively transform the Armed Forces charities sector to meet current and future challenges, and lead social change.

The 2019 Cobseo Emerging Leader participants are:

  • Alan Owen, The British Nuclear Test Veterans Association
  • Allie Hack, Jon Egging Trust
  • Antoine Sahyoun, Victory Services Club
  • Dawn Ingram, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity
  • Elisabeth Winkler Lawrence Bravehound
  • Iain Boyle, East Sussex Veterans’ Hub
  • James Grant, SSAFA
  • Jenna McCormick, Poppyscotland
  • Jenny Minhinnick, The Royal Star & Garter Homes
  • Katherine Lawrence, The SCiP Alliance
  • Kevin Hartley, Veterans information CIC
  • Laura Pett, The Royal British Legion
  • Michelle Alston, Army Families Federation
  • Natalie Urbaniak, SUPPORT OUR PARAS
  • Prema Nirgude, Royal Air Forces Association
  • Sandra Parton, Hounds for Heroes
  • Sarah Clewes, Royal Naval Association
  • Sarah Fernandes, Hounds for Heroes
  • Sarah Harold, SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity
  • Serena Cecchinato, Give Us Time
  • Stephen Oatley, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity
  • Tina Barnes, Seafarers UK
  • Tommy Lowther, Sportingforce

For more information about the programme and the announcement, please follow this link:

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Statement in response to veterans housing consultation

Responding to today’s announcement by Housing Secretary James Brokenshire, that veterans with mental health problems may be prioritised for social housing, Ray Lock, Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“Well over 1,000 men and women leaving the Armed Forces need urgent support to find accommodation every year. Our research has shown that the advice given to veterans can be patchy. We welcome these proposals, which will undoubtedly make a significant difference to those in most need. But we urge ministers to also ensure veterans feature in local authority housing strategies and appropriate advice is given to anyone applying for housing advice who is identified as a veteran. That is the single most important step towards ending homelessness among those who have served our country.”