Today the Government published its Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-2024 which sets out the steps it will take over the next two years to help achieve its ambition of making the United Kingdom the best place in the world to be a veteran by 2028.
Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, says:
We welcome the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan and the Government’s continued commitment to ensuring that the veteran community thrive after they leave service. We were delighted to have been involved in the early formulation of the Strategy for our Veterans, having funded a secondment role of Charity Adviser to the Veterans’ Strategy within the Ministry of Defence (MOD). We are pleased to now see the evolution of that Strategy into this Action Plan.
While the majority of Service leavers and their families make a successful transition into civilian life, some experience barriers and can face disadvantages as a result of serving in the Armed Forces. Since the publication of the Strategy for our Veterans in 2018, we have seen a range of new policies and support mechanisms introduced to tackle these barriers, from the National Insurance contribution holiday for employers of veterans to encourage businesses to employ veterans and take advantage of their skillset, to the increase in Armed Forces Champions across the Jobcentre network to ensure veterans accessing the benefits system are provided with consistent and appropriate support. Forces in Mind Trust is proud to have contributed to the evidence base for several of these initiatives.
The Action Plan will be integral to ensuring that the Government reaches its ambition of making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran. The sustained focus on data is to be applauded because it will enable statutory and charitable support services to prioritise help for those who need it the most. We also welcome the second action area, transforming services and support for veterans. This will continue to be a key work strand for Forces in Mind Trust as we identify the barriers for veterans and their families in making a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life, including the barriers to accessing effective support, and what works to address those barriers. Lastly, the focus on improving perceptions of the Armed Forces Community is to be commended. Celebrating veterans’ contributions and ensuring that the public, including employers, are aware of the fantastic assets and skills veterans and their families possess, will be of benefit to both the veteran community and civilian society.
We are pleased to see that the Action Plan is informed by evidence generated by Forces in Mind Trust and the activities of other organisations working with the veteran community, which provides a robust foundation for upcoming initiatives. The delivery of the Veterans’ Strategy will require sustained collaboration across multiple government departments and across the statutory and charitable sectors. We look forward to continuing to work with Jessie Owen and her team at the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and colleagues in the Ministry of Defence and across other government departments to ensure effective implementation of this Action Plan.
Click here to access the full Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-2024