The Strategy for our Veterans
The Strategy for our Veterans, launched in November 2018, has raised the profile of Veterans issues and provided an opportunity for the Scottish Government to highlight the priority we place on promoting Veterans as assets to our society and to providing effective support to those Veterans who need it. We completed in 2019 an extensive round of face-to-face engagements with stakeholders throughout Scotland, engaging with more than 60 organisations across the public, private and third sectors, including groups of Veterans themselves.
Following a request from the UK Government we delayed publishing our response, 'The Strategy for our Veterans: Taking the Strategy Forward in Scotland' from December 2019 until January 2020 to align the timing with the UK and Welsh Governments. Our response highlights the work that we are taking forward for Veterans and the Armed Forces community including to deliver against the recommendations in the Scottish Veterans Commissioner's reports.
- Provided funding of £1.4 million to Combat Stress and jointly funded with six local health boards for the Veterans First Point Network.
- Provided £3,000 of funding to Legion Scotland for Befriending and Mental Health First Aid Training.
- The Scottish Veterans Care Network will be launched imminently.
- During COVID-19, NHS Inform was updated to ensure the right information about Veterans' health and their rights was clear and accessible.
- Continuing to offer funding from the Affordable Housing Supply Programme to Veterans Housing Scotland to support it as it progresses proposals to deliver additional homes for disabled ex-Service personnel.
- Continuing to support Housing Options Scotland to provide its Military Matters project.
- Committed to working with stakeholders, including the Veterans Scotland Housing Group, to develop a Veterans homelessness prevention pathway.
- Continuing to fund the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership to map military qualifications against those which are recognised by employers in Scotland and expanding this work to look at Royal Navy Catering Services branches.
- Refreshed the Veterans Employability Strategic Group with two co-chairs and the development of a new purpose and vision.
- Offered Service leavers fixed-term appointments in the Scottish Government, primarily within Health & Social Care, to support the response to COVID-19, and introduced the Going Forward Into Employment programme to increase the employment of Service leavers and Veterans in the Scottish Government.
- Jointly funded a refresh of the Capitalising on Military Talent Toolkit to include information for employers on the benefits of employing military family members.
- Continued to support the pilot project between Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Careers Transition Partnership to offer careers guidance to Service leavers.
- Every Scottish university and 85% of Scottish colleges have signed up to be part of the HE:FE Armed Forces Champions Network.
- General Teaching Council for Scotland is working with the Navy Families Federation on a joint publication detailing the requirements for teaching in Scotland, specifically aimed at the Armed Forces community.
- Service Children's Progression Alliance Scottish Hub are developing a range of digital resources for teaching and support staff to raise awareness of Armed Forces issues.
- Skills Development Scotland established a pilot to retrain Scottish Veterans and address skills gaps in the nation's cyber security workforce.
- Published our response to the UK-wide Veterans Strategy, detailing the work that we are taking forward for Veterans and the Armed Forces community.
- The Scottish Veterans Fund supported 15 Projects totalling £166,127.
- Promoted and distributed Armed Forces and Veterans awareness training to all local authorities in Scotland.
- Committed £750,000 of funding for the Unforgotten Forces Consortium to support older Veterans in Scotland.
- Issued guidance to all local authorities and third sector stakeholders to support the delivery of safe Remembrance and ceremonial events during COVID-19.
- Facilitated the launch of the Veterans Railcard, for use in Scotland and committing additional funding to offer a discount on the railcard during an introductory period.