The Lord Craig of Radley, Marshal of the Royal Air Force and a former Chief of the Defence Staff, led the debate about the Forces in Mind Trust’s Transition Mapping Study in the main chamber of the House of Lords last night.

The study, conducted by The Futures Company and launched on the 14th August this year, reviewed how the entire transition process from military to civilian life currently works and how it is viewed by stakeholders and recent Service leavers.

 Lord Craig’s introductory speech outlined why there was a need for the Forces in Mind Trust and its work, funding research and projects supporting ex-Service personnel and their families going through the process of transition from military to civilian life.

Contributors to the debate included Lord Walker of Aldringham, Lord Empey, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Rosser, and Baroness Garden of Frognal.  Throughout the debate the report was praised as an excellent and useful piece of evidence-based research, and underlined FiMT’s growing reputation for independent evidence-based work.

Employability and practical life skills featured prominently in the debate, and there were numerous calls to the business community to view ex-Service personnel as a superb resource which should be competed for.  There was also strong agreement that individuals needed to take greater responsibility for their own transition, recognizing that the third sector would provide both support and a safety net for those most at risk of failed transition.

Baroness Jolly closed the debate on behalf of the Government, and undertook to ensure that the report would be considered during the 2015 process to re-let the Career Transition Partnership.

Chief Executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, Ray Lock, who attended the debate, said: “We were delighted that the House of Lords gave time to debate this important issue and believe that much can be achieved simply through a change in attitude towards transition.  Empowering, enabling and requiring the individual to prepare adequately for civilian life should come from a culture change throughout military service; this should be led by the MOD, supported by a deep collaboration across the military charities sector.  FiMT is working across the Armed Forces community, including with Lord Ashcroft’s Transition Review team, to understand the issues, and to lead change from an evidence-based perspective.  This debate continues the process we started in August, and provides a most welcome strategic engagement.”

The report is available to download here

A transcript of the debate is available to download here: