Alun Davies has welcomed the first ever UK-wide ‘Strategy for our Veterans’ which has been published today (Wednesday 14th November).
Produced jointly with UK and Scottish Governments, and including the Northern Ireland Office, ‘Strategy for our Veterans’ outlines a new vision to support former Service personnel and their families, in all aspects of their lives.
The strategy identifies six key areas where support is most needed over the next ten years: community and relationships, employment and skills, health and wellbeing, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law. It seeks to identify the barriers and opportunities in these areas to providing support to each veteran, including improved collaboration between organisations, better co-ordination of services and more robust data on the veteran community.
It will be published alongside a scoping exercise in Wales seeking views on how best to champion and deliver the needs of the ex-Service community.
Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies said:
“This time of the year serves as a poignant reminder of those who fought bravely in previous conflicts to preserve our way of life. Through the collaborative approach of the Armed Forces Expert Group we have made tremendous progress in Wales delivering appropriate services and support for our Armed Forces community. This new Veterans Strategy confirms our commitment to achieving the best outcome possible for our veterans, one that will make a real difference to their lives.”
The Cabinet Secretary also launched a new Employment Pathway for Service leavers and veterans in Wales to gain meaningful employment opportunities.
Employment plays a pivotal role to a successful transition to civilian life. The Employment Pathway, developed in collaboration with the Armed Forces Expert Group and launched with the WLGA’s Armed Forces Network today, which will help signpost Service leavers and veterans to the wide range of opportunities and support services available to those looking for a new career.
The Cabinet Secretary said:
“Finding meaningful employment that recognises the skills service personnel have gained during their time in the Armed Forces, is a key factor in helping Service leavers, veterans and their families, integrate back into civilian life, and contribute to the communities in which they settle.
“Some though, for a variety of reasons, find transition difficult and being unable to secure employment is a key factor to an unsuccessful transition. This scheme is designed to help them find and understand all the options available to gain employment that recognises their unique skills, and to support financial security.”
To support the Employment Pathway an Employers’ Toolkit is being developed by BiTC. The Employers Toolkit will complement the Pathway, providing clear guidance for ex-Serving personnel and employers on the added benefits of employing ex-Service personnel.