Overview

Scotland recognises the sacrifice of the armed forces, veterans and their families.

We aim to put the needs of the armed forces and veterans community at the forefront of policy thinking, development and delivery.

This includes ensuring that ex-servicemen and women receive appropriate support and advice to help them with their transition to civilian life.

The Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans provides an Annual Update to Parliament on the work done to support the Armed Forces and Veterans Community. Read the report which accompanied the 2020 Annual Update to Parliament.

Actions

Our main objectives are:

    • ensuring no disadvantage for service personnel, veterans and their families in Scotland accessing public services and support
    • that Scotland is viewed as a ‘destination of choice’ for service leavers and their families
    • providing visible Scottish Government support for the armed forces community

Background

Our veterans and armed forces community are an asset to society and we are committed to making Scotland the destination of choice for service leavers and their families.

While the majority make an effective transition to civilian life there are a small number of veterans who face challenges.

We believe no-one should suffer disadvantage as a result of their service, and that they deserve the best help that society can deliver.

We have established a range of measures to support the veterans and armed forces community across healthcare, housing, education, justice, skills and employability. Full details are available in Renewing Our Commitments.

On 21 January 2020 we published Taking the Strategy Forward in Scotland which outlines how we will take forward the Strategy for our Veterans and achieve the best possible outcomes for veterans and their families now and in the future.

In 2014 we appointed the first Scottish Veterans Commissioner to act as an ambassador for veterans and make recommendations for improving services for veterans and their families. The role of  the independent Commissioner is  now firmly embedded in Scotland and the second Commissioner has produced two annual progress reports. He recently published his 2020 progress report, demonstrating that the Scottish Government has delivered two thirds of the original 63 Commissioner recommendations.

In 2021 we published an updated version of the Welcome to Scotland guide, which provides straightforward advice for service personnel and their families about issues such as housing, education, and healthcare in Scotland. By providing this support, we ultimately hope those personnel and their families coming here will choose to make Scotland their long-term home. 

toolkit aimed at encouraging businesses proactively to recruit and benefit from employing veterans was launched by Veterans Minister Keith Brown on 21 March 2017. In November 2020 we worked with the Welsh Government and business in the community to launch a refresh of this toolkit aimed at ensuring businesses recognise the skills and experience of partners and spouses of Armed Forces personnel. We hope these toolkits will help members of the armed forces community secure fulfilling, sustainable employment.

We are a full partner in Scotland’s Firm Base arrangements, which ensures that the military and civil society work together to care for serving personnel, veterans and their families in an approach that also brings benefits to the wider community.

More information on support which can be accessed by the armed forces and veterans community is available.

Bills and legislation

Legislation relating to the veterans and armed forces community is listed on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Contact

Email: Central Enquiries Unit ceu@gov.scot 

Phone: 0131 244 4000 

Post:
Scottish Government
Veterans and Armed Forces Personnel Unit
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG