In response to today’s election pledges by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties Air Vice-Marshal Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive at Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), says:
“We welcome policies that support members of our armed forces as they move into civilian life and urge all parties to prioritise help for those who need it most.
“Moving to civilian employment is generally considered to be one of the indicators of a successful transition from military to civilian life. We know, from our research, that nearly one fifth (18%) of UK organisations are unlikely to consider hiring veterans because they hold negative perceptions about their time spent serving. Veterans face significant challenges which can only be tackled if we all work together – government, charities, the public sector and businesses. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs must take the lead on this issue and we hope to see the next government reflect this in the Strategy for our Veterans.
“Parties must also pledge to grow and develop the Armed Forces Covenant. Our research indicates wide variations in the quality of social and healthcare services delivered. The Covenant must be further boosted through greater engagement with businesses and better awareness across all parts of government.
“In addition, the recent creation of the Defence Transition Services is a welcome step forward, offering enhanced support to the most vulnerable among our veterans. But as a modest resource, it will only work if it is properly targeted at those who need it most.
“We look forward to working with the next government to ensure that every person who has served our country makes a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life.”