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Business to lead the way in supporting veterans into employment

HRH The Prince of Wales recently joined veterans, guests and business at a special reception to celebrate their efforts to get former service men and women into employment.

“Veterans are a significant asset to Scottish businesses, offering employers a wide range of skills, experience and training. Today, I have heard first-hand from those benefitting from the skills of veterans in their business, and indeed from ex-service personnel who have been supported in the transition from military life to corporate employment. Scotland is already showing itself to be a great example of collaboration and best practice from the business community, helping to make Scotland the destination of choice for ex-service personnel. I look forward to seeing this initiative in action as it supports both businesses and veterans benefit from the diversity of skills offered by our ex-service community.

- Keith Brown MSP,
Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work
His Royal Highness was joined at the reception,held at Dumfries House on 24 October, by Mr Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work and Veterans.

The event was attended by leading businesses in Scotland which have already recognised the significant resource which skilled and capable veterans offer, and which are lending their insight and sponsorship to support the production of an accompanying employment guide.  Amongst those represented were Virgin Money, Standard Life, Barclays and Saint Gobain.

Soldier's stories

Service veterans represent a pool of untapped talent and experience that many businesses can benefit from. We certainly have at Virgin Money, and I am delighted to support this inspiring initiative. I encourage businesses in Scotland and across the UK to help our returning servicemen and women to secure employment and, in return, benefit from the skills, dedication and can-do attitude that they bring.

- Jayne-Anne Gadhia,
Chief Executive, Virgin Money
His Royal Highness and the Cabinet Secretary heard first hand from veterans who have successfully made the transition into civilian employment, and from the third sector veterans support organisations who are partnering with BITC on this exciting agenda.

One of those they met was Nick Trowell, who served in the Rifles until 2013 and recently re-joined the Army as a reservist. Nick briefly shared with His Royal Highness his own experience of transitioning with a work placement in Barclays Armed Forces Transition Employment & Resettlement (AFTER) Programme. which turned into permanent employment as the head of Frontline Risk for Barclays UK. Nick is also now the Co-Head of the AFTER programme and the Barclays Military Network (BMN) in Scotland.

The event was complemented by a Virtual Job Fair, an on-line service designed to link veterans with civilian employment opportunities. managed by SaluteMyJob and funded by the Scottish Government’s Scottish Veterans Fund.

This innovative coalition to inspire, hire and grow job opportunities for veterans Scotland-wide supports the goal set out in the Scottish Government’s “Renewing Our Commitments” plan to establish Scotland as the destination of choice for service leavers and their families.

There are more than 500,000 veterans plus families in Scotland. Government funding in support of the programme of activity will see Business in the Community Scotland undertake an outreach initiative to engage Scottish businesses in working with the veterans community and guide businesses in the recruitment and retention of former members of the Armed Forces throughout 2016 and 2017.

The initiative builds upon existing activity undertaken by Business in the Community UK-wide in calling for business to take the lead in supporting returning servicemen and women into long-term employment

Find out more about BITC Scotland's ex-military recruitment initiative.