The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that it will invest up to £6 million to fund more than 100 ‘Armed Forces Champion’ posts, that will be dedicated to supporting former service personnel and their spouses adjust to civilian life.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Rishi Sunak described meeting veterans and service personnel as humbling, and said that they deserve our support to ensure they never find themselves out of work and without help.
That’s why we are spending up to £6 million to increase the number of Armed Forces Champions in our jobcentres. They’ll be a vital extra help as our former soldiers, sailors, airmen and women take the first steps into a new career.
There are currently 46 Armed Forces Champions in the UK, many of whom have previously served in the forces and draw upon their own experiences to help veterans move forward.
Work and Pensions Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey MP said that the new Champions will be stationed across the country.
They will be at the forefront of what used to be called the Armed Forces Covenant which aimed to help people who had served in the armed forces for no matter how long, throughout their lives.
An important part of that is helping ex-service men and women find suitable employment as part of their transition from military service to civilian life.
Funding for specialists
The new funding will provide specialist, individual support to former service personnel and their families as they take the first steps to find a job.
Being based in JobCentrePlus will also enable them to receive the benefits advice they are entitled to.
The Champions will also be raise awareness amongst employers of the of particular issues faced by veterans and their families.
Neil Turner, Armed Forces Champion and Colchester Jobcentre work coach, was in the army for 30 years before working for DWP.
Moving from the armed forces to civilian life can be a massive culture shock for those leaving the Armed Forces. Many don’t know what’s hit them.
This funding he says will ultimately help ensure the right people are out there providing the right kind of support where it’s needed, when it’s needed.
Employer who want to show their support for ex services personnel can sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)
Find more information here