Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Helping our ex-servicemen and women into employment

Over the past few years Help for Heroes has rightly become one of the most supported charities in Britain.

Help for Heroes provides invaluable support for our wounded servicemen and their families but every year there are thousands of servicemen and women who leave our armed forces and have to face the difficult task of moving back into civilian life, for many it is not easy.

I believe as a society we owe a great deal to those who defend our country. Those who, without question, put their lives on the line to defend all of us.

Without a doubt those men and women have served our country with more commitment and dedication than most of us ever could hope to, I know I couldn't place myself at risk in the same way that our armed forces knowingly do on a daily basis.

That is why, I believe, we must do all we reasonably can to help our ex-servicemen and women transition back into civilian life.

Sadly finding employment is often all too difficult for those recently leaving the forces.

I was therefore delighted to hear recently about Labour controlled Rochdale Council's adoption of a guaranteed job interview scheme for Armed Forces Leavers.

In a world where large numbers of people are applying for every job with the council Rochdale are guaranteeing that ex-servicemen and women who meet the person specification of a vacancy will be offered an interview.

I believe that such a scheme offers distinct advantages not only to those that we owe so much who are looking for a job, but also brings benefits to the council who will have the opportunity to meet disciplined and committed potential employees.

It would be great to see such schemes, which internationally are commonplace, become more widespread amongst local authorities and other public and private employers.

Over the coming weeks and months I intend on lobbying our local councils and businesses to do just that.

It would be great to hear your views.

1 comment:

  1. As much as I respect the armed forces, and believe me I do, I do not subscribe to the view that they deserve special treatment simply because of the job they chose to do. Don't get me wrong, it's a difficult, dangerous job and one I never wanted to do - but the onus is on the fact that they chose to do it. Is it not worth making sure people joining the army are properly educated about the lifestyle choice they're making and making sure they understand the difficulties they may face when they come to go back to civilian life? (I'm reminded of the Shawshank Redemption when I write this).
    Guaranteeing someone an interview because of their job history rather than their ability to do the job is wrong - I've had to work hard to get the jobs I've held and have never had the benefit of a guaranteed interview.