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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-07954: Maurice Corry (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 March 2017

To ask the Scottish Government how many (a) early service leavers and (b) veterans have been supported into (i) employment and (ii) a modern apprenticeship by (A) Community Jobs Scotland and (B) Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive.

Answered by: Jamie Hepburn 22 March 2017

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring support for veterans and early service leavers and recognise that they can face barriers to finding sustainable employment.

That is why following the publication of the Scottish Veteran’s Commissioner’s report – Transitions in Scotland - in December 2015 we implemented the recommendations including those relating to Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) and Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI).

Community Jobs Scotland

In 2015-16 Community Jobs Scotland created a pilot scheme offering job training and support for young people leaving the military with less than 6 years of service. Our delivery partner the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) worked with a range of veterans organisations including Poppy Scotland, Careers Transitions Partnerships and Veterans Scotland to identify and support those young people participate on the programme.

We have taken forward learning from the pilot programme in 2016-17 and beyond into 2017-18 and will continue to engage with early service leavers as part of the focus on supporting young people who face barriers to the labour market.

Since the pilot in 2015-16 Community Jobs Scotland has supported 13 early service leavers with 5 moving on into employment, 1 going onto an Modern Apprenticeship and 1 moving onto to undertake further education.

CJS has historically included veterans, including wives or partners of armed forces personnel, as being eligible for the job training opportunities offered. However the SCVO did not include these as a specific identifier for their data capture and cannot provide any recorded figures for how many have participated on CJS.

SCVO continue to work with a range of veterans organisations to improve referral routes to the programme and to promote the support and opportunities CJS can provide to early service leavers and veterans.

SERI

Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive (SERI) has a specific focus on young people aged between 16 and 29 who face the greatest barriers to employment; and includes support for early service leavers, veterans and the partners of veterans.

Since 2015-16 SERI has supported 10 early service leavers and ex Armed Forces personnel - 3 in employment and the rest on a Modern Apprenticeship.

SERI participants declaring eligibility as an early service leaver or veterans are captured together and we are unable to disaggregate the figures further.

To note SCVO and Local Authorities have reported that participants on both CJS and SERI often declare their eligibility to the programme through the declaration of a different primary identifying characteristic, for example through a health or long term health condition rather than identifying themselves as ex military personnel.

In addition to the specific focus of these employability programmes we have also taken action to help employers recruit veterans. Keith Brown - Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work announced on 21 March 2017 a toolkit which aims to encouraging employers and businesses to proactively employ veterans and to realise the benefits this can have for their business.