Veterans will be fast-tracked into jobs as teachers, prison officers and in the NHS as part of a new scheme aiming to improve their employment prospects, the Government said.
The Cabinet Office has launched a £70 million veterans strategy action plan to encourage former armed services personnel to apply their military skills to public service roles.
This funding will also be used to improve healthcare services for veterans, the department said.
The plan covers several schemes, including a prison officer programme which will see veterans fast-tracked into posts at 50 prisons in England and Wales.
Veterans make a fantastic contribution to society and the measures announced today will help even more ex-service personnel realise their potentialChancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay
Former soldiers and personnel will also be offered a £40,000 training bursary to become secondary school teachers via a “troops to teachers” programme.
A “step into health” scheme will see the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and NHS England encourage veterans to apply for healthcare roles, while the “great place to work for veterans” programme will guarantee them interviews for civil service jobs.
Some 100 civil service placements are due to be offered to veterans each year by 2024, the Cabinet Office said.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said the plan aims to make the UK “the best place in the world to be a veteran”.
“Veterans make a fantastic contribution to society and the measures announced today will help even more ex-service personnel realise their potential,” he said.
“Whether it’s more employment opportunities, better digital services and targeted support, all of Government is working to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran.”
Defence minister Leo Docherty said: “The veterans strategy action plan will boost employment, modernise services and help us better understand the needs of the veteran community.
“Veterans already make a huge contribution to society and the plans outlined today step up our commitment to allowing them to live successful and healthy lives after service.”
Our armed forces personnel are an immense source of pride for our country but veterans and their families need access to NHS support that is considerate of their unique circumstancesAmanda Pritchard, NHS England
Some £18 million of additional funding will be invested in health services in England, including for improvements to veterans’ mental health support.
NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the funding will make health services more accessible for veterans.
She said: “Our armed forces personnel are an immense source of pride for our country but veterans and their families need access to NHS support that is considerate of their unique circumstances.
“In line with our long-term plan, the NHS is investing an additional £18 million to make our health services more accessible and ensure GP surgeries and hospitals are even more veteran-friendly so that veterans and their families get the services they need, closer to home, which we know they want.”