Support for veterans and the armed forces community: 2019

Our continuing support for our veterans and armed forces community.

Update: Employability and Skills



Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership Qualifications Mapping

The Scottish Funding Council allocated £20,000 for 2019-20 to continue the programme of work by the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Partnership looking at how to match credit levels with military qualifications against those which are recognised by employers in Scotland. This followed a £20,000 award in 2018-19. SCQF have created a Support for Veterans page on their website and produced a guide to Infantry Qualifications and what they mean in Scotland. This will help employers and educational institutions understand the range of skills and expertise that those leaving the forces have to offer, and in addition support individuals to articulate their skills clearly in order to find employment or education. SCQF are working with NHS Education for Scotland to jointly promote this work and identify areas where they can work together.

Skills Development Scotland 

The pilot project in the between Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) continues its promotion of career guidance for Service leavers during their Resettlement training with Continuing Professional Development sessions for Service Resettlement Officers, CTP and SDS staff. Seventeen transitioning Service personnel have accessed the Inverness SDS centre in 2019.  The majority have self-referred following Individual Education and Resettlement Officers briefings or through word of mouth. This highlights the evolution of the process and partnership engagement to a business as usual approach. A dedicated Scottish-specific page developed collaboratively by the MOD, SDS and CTP is now live on the CTP website. Partnership work continues with Leuchars Co-Working Hub, and SDS piloted a career information, advice and guidance offer to the Co-Working Hub Helensburgh (Drumfork) when it launched in October 2019. This is specifically aimed at partners and spouses within the naval community.

The SDS website My World of Work, which has a dedicated landing page for Service leavers and veterans developed in collaboration the Scottish Government, Veterans Scotland, Service personnel and the Covenant Officer Highlands & Moray.  It has had nearly 4,000 page views since its launch in March 2018.

Workplace Equality Fund

The Scottish Government provided £800,000 in 2019-20 to the Workplace Equality Fund (WEF). The purpose of the Fund is to work with employers to address long standing barriers particular groups face in entering and progressing in the labour market so that everyone in Scotland has the opportunity to fulfil their potential. The criteria for the Fund has now been amended to include the Armed Forces community including veterans and spouses.

Scotland’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (SBMC) have successfully secured funding for 2019-2020 from the WEF to work with Balfour Beattie, BEAR Scotland and other leading SMEs to help them to create Best Practice within their organisations when recruiting and employing veterans particularly those with disabilities. SBMC will work with employers to ensure their policies, procedures, and guidelines are inclusive, fair and accessible and to ensure their staff are trained to work with veterans including those with disabilities and veterans spouses.

Service Families Support

Scottish Government Employment 

We are providing links to adverts for vacancies in the Scottish Government through Forces Families Jobs. Forces Families Jobs is an employment and training platform for Service spouses, partners and family members, offering employers free access to an untapped pool of talented employees. The advert links to Work for Scotland enabling Service family members to view easily employment opportunities in the Scottish Government.

We have also worked with the Career Transition Partnership to offer work placements in the Scottish Government for individuals transitioning from the Armed Forces with the first of those taking place in August 2019.

Spousal/Partner Employment

Opened in September 2017, the Leuchars Co-Working Hub was the first hub in the Military Co-working Network, a network of co-working spaces close to military bases throughout the UK. The Leuchars Hub continues to grow and strengthen and its members have been instrumental in the work to develop a Co-working Hub in Helensburgh to support families based in Faslane.  

The development of these Hubs has been supported by CAN DO Places who work with community groups, Business Improvement Districts and Development Trusts to take over redundant buildings to create venues for collaboration and co-working. The programme has now created a scalable model to assist inclusive growth across urban and rural Scotland.

The Scottish Government are working with the Royal Navy and Army to promote and develop links to the newly launched Scottish Libraries Co-Working Hubs in five key Locations in Scotland – Inverness, Dundee, Troon, Edinburgh and Dunfermline.


On 1 October 2019 the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) published its returners booklet, providing information and support to those who wish to return to teaching in Scotland.  GTCS continues to develop their relationships with all three Services and carry on the successful work to overcome barriers experienced by spouses who qualified as teachers elsewhere in the UK, to allow them to teach in Scotland. In particular GTCS are working closely with the Navy Families Federation (NFF) on a joint publication detailing the requirements for teaching in Scotland specifically aimed at those from the Armed Forces community. The GTCS receives a number of enquiries from spouses of Service personnel and continue to identify routes to registration for them. To date two spouses of Naval personnel have been registered to teach in Scotland.

Promoting Scotland’s Apprenticeship Family 

Scotland’s Apprenticeship family of offerings continue to be promoted to Early Service Leavers, veterans and their families. This includes raising awareness of  which is Skills Development Scotland’s ‘go to’ site on all matters relating to Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships. 

Scottish Governments Armed Forces and Veterans Network

The Scottish Government successfully launched its first ever employee Armed Forces and Veterans Staff Network in February 2019. The network is open to veterans and anyone that would like to show their support to the Armed Forces community– regardless of whether or not they have served.

Case Study


“Now I am getting help from a Veteran Officer (Careers Adviser) at SDS I am working my way towards a career that I want to do. I felt swamped and uncertain about work career prospects, the adviser made me feel at ease to discuss career prospects, I felt so much better. Lynne brought out so many good and useful points at the initial interview I was so delighted to come to the next one. I got excellent encouragement and I feel all the help I am getting is so beneficial. I realised after discussion I had so many more skills and achievements than I thought. It encouraged more confidence in myself. Straightaway Lynne put me in touch with Adult Literacy after I expressed concern. Knowing I can pop in and get useful advice is very helpful”. 

Armed Forces veteran, Inverness Area, July 2019

Case Study

Work Placements in Scottish Government

A member of the British Army during his transition/resettlement training attended a one-week work experience with the Scottish Government.  

He said: “I was surprised at the breadth of activity within the Scottish Government which helped provide a steer towards my future career choices and showed that anyone can move between departments. I appreciated the friendliness and patience of everyone involved who were happy to discuss their personal experiences and challenges within the Scottish Government which I found refreshing. It also highlighted the help that is available for veterans outside the Forces. It had never occurred to me that there was any help outside other than a handful of charities that don’t much apply to me. To know that the Scottish Veterans Commissioner both represents my interests and holds government accountable is very reassuring. 

Case Study


The positive benefits of service leavers undertaking a Apprenticeships is clearly demonstrated in the case of Mark Mackay a Graduate Apprentice at Cortex Worldwide in Edinburgh. The Apprenticeship at Cortex offered Mark the chance to re-train for a career in technology outside of the ‘traditional’ route.

Mark is a former Force Protection Specialist in support of Medivac in the RAF Regiment, Mark undertook three tours of Afghanistan and one of Iraq. He was awarded a commendation for bravery after he formed a defensive line to protect American casualties during an ambush and was invited to Buckingham Palace.

Mark said that: “An Apprenticeship was a great option for me to re-train… I’d always thought Apprenticeships were only for tradesmen, I’d never heard of Apprenticeships in IT - I jumped at the chance when I learned about them”.



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