Great meeting today with the Social Mobility Minister, Mims Davies, to discuss supporting veterans transition into employment after leaving service.
There’s great work being done in Ipswich by Nigel Seaman and his charity Combat2Coffee, who help veterans who are struggling to transition to civilian life get the skills and opportunities they need. This meeting followed me raising his work in Parliament. He’s been a real champion on this issue, and has been crucial in identifying some of the issues facing veterans transitioning to employment. I’m excited that the Minister said she wants to visit Ipswich and see the amazing work they’re doing.
There are job transition services available to veterans, but uptake of these services is lower than ideal. Many veterans don’t know what support is available, and there can also be some amount of stigma attached. Overall, the transition process isn’t explained well and isn’t properly advertised.
We should be making sure that veteran work coaches are more closely involved in the resettlement process. Their services should be advertised more widely to veterans, and they should be made more accessible with walk-in in-office surgeries for veterans and their families. This could help reduce some of the stigma and anxiety around seeking help, as currently, they can only be seen by appointment. Many veterans also need more time to figure out what job they want to do in civilian life. The Career Transition Partnership for veterans should give them more time.