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Charity calls on businesses to become Armed Forces friendly

Charity calls on businesses to become Armed Forces friendly

Business in the Community Scotland promotes ex-military talent for employers ahead of Armed Forces Day

Business in the Community (BITC) Scotland, the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, is calling on businesses to join Scotland’s network of veteran friendly employers ahead of Armed Forces Day (24th June).

The charity has developed a toolkit to help businesses recognise and embrace the skills of veterans, which was launched earlier this year by Veterans Minister Keith Brown MSP. The toolkit, entitled “Capitalising on military talent: How to develop an Armed Forces friendly recruitment practice”, offers a range of practical suggestions to help employers attract, recruit and retain ex-military talent into second careers. The resource was written by BITC, in partnership with SaluteMyJob, and supported by the Scottish Government.

As a partner of the Scottish Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (SVETS), BITC Scotland is actively encouraging businesses to join the growing network of ex-military friendly employers to increase the range of opportunities for veterans.

SVETS was asked by employers who attended the toolkit launch and contributed to its content to establish a forum where good practice and experience can be shared, supporting more veterans into meaningful second careers. The employers forum is now meeting regularly, and includes representation from Barclays, Saint Gobain, Virgin Money, Fujitsu, WYG, Brewin Dolphin and Standard Life.

Approximately 2,000 Service personnel leave the Armed Forces each year and settle in Scotland, adding to the existing community of 400,000 veterans. The Scottish Government is keen to ensure Scotland is a destination of choice for Service personnel and has launched a range of measures to support Service personnel to enter employment.

Sandy MacDonald, Head of Sustainability at Standard Life said:

“When entering the workplace Armed Forces veterans bring with them a unique set of skills and experiences, which we have found to be ideally transferable to our business. Despite this, we are well aware of the challenges and difficulties that many veterans face when making this transition and are fully supportive of efforts to help tackle these problems.

“We are actively engaged in a number of initiatives and programmes that help raise awareness and increase support to veterans. These range from work placement opportunities for veterans, support for veterans’ charities, and many more.”

Jane Wood, Director of Membership and the Nations for BITC, added:

“Business in the Community Scotland is proud to work with the Scottish Government, Scottish Veterans’ Employment and Training Service and SaluteMyJob and our members to support returning servicemen and women into long-term civilian careers. Armed Forces Day is a nationwide celebration and opportunity to support the Armed Forces community, so what better time to remind businesses of the part they can play in supporting veterans by pro-actively recruiting them as part of a diverse workforce policy.

“Veterans are hard working, good humoured, highly skilled problem solvers who are used to performing well under difficult circumstances – assets to be prized by employers and an invaluable boost to Scotland’s labour market.

“By supporting this engagement, the Scottish Government is enabling organisations, both large and small, to invest in social change and tap into a wealth of resources that will help to create both a vibrant economy and vibrant communities where people can flourish.”

On Saturday 24th June hundreds of events will take place up and down the country to celebrate and support serving troops, their families, veterans and cadets.