The transition from military to civilian life is often testing. For some it is crippling. Recognising this, we have started a new programme that puts the welfare of struggling veterans at its heart.
It is not connected to schools and exclusively focuses on former service personnel whose attempts to create a life outside of the armed forces has led to illegal or anti-social behaviour.
We have developed a small SkillForce team led by a ex-Service man, to work with police forces to identify and help veterans who have come into police custody, due to homelessness, substance abuse or other reasons.
The team, who understand exactly how it feels and what it means to leave the armed forces, receive referrals from custody sergeants and other professionals. They meet with veterans one-to-one at a coffee shop, community centre, even their bail hostel and listen to their story without judgement and from a place of common ground. They are able to signpost people to the expert help they need to get on their feet. This can be housing, health, education and addiction services, to name but a few.
SkillForce would not exist without the men and women of the armed forces. Not all have the opportunity to retrain with SkillForce or other organisation and enjoy a new and rewarding career. This work is a very natural fit for us and one we intend to grow.
There is no charge to veterans for this welfare service and we are grateful to HM Treasury for directing LIBOR funding to SkillForce to enable us to begin this project.
SkillForce has strong Military roots and partnerships, originally set up as a pilot project sponsored by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to work in secondary schools with young people identified as ‘hard to reach’.
It was recognised that the skills and experience of ex-Forces personnel would benefit underperforming students as well as providing those transitioning from the Military and into civilian life with an opportunity for training and development opportunities leading to new career options.
SkillForce has signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant and is proud to have been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in recognition of our commitment to ex-Services personnel. We offer excellent opportunities for any organisation that is looking for ways to fulfil their own commitment to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant.Our Covenant