Collaboration and coordination
The Scottish Government has contributed £250,000 per year from 2020-21 until 2022-23 (for a total of £750,000) to the Unforgotten Forces Consortium.
The Scottish Veterans Fund continued in 2021, with a further £200,000 awarded to 16 projects across Scotland, with a specific focus on projects that supported recovery from the COVID pandemic.
The Scottish Parliament agreed that Scotland's Census, which will take place on 20 March 2022, will include for the first time a question on previous service in the UK Armed Forces.
Recognising that the Census only takes place every ten years, we have identified opportunities for more regular data collections by including the same question from the Census in the Scottish Government's three primary surveys.
Perception and Recognition
For the first time, the Veterans Employability Strategic Group now has membership from private sector employers.
The Scottish Government's 2021-22 Programme for Government has committed to securing improved opportunities for veterans.
The Scottish Government accepted the recommendations within the Scottish Veterans Commissioner's new reports on Employment, Skills and Learning and Housing.
Community and Relationships
The Scottish Government will develop a plan to tackle social isolation and loneliness backed by £10 million across the lifetime of this parliament.
An updated version of Welcome to Scotland was published in March 2021 following extensive consultation with the Military as well as third and public sector organisations.
Employment, Education and Skills
The Veterans Employability Strategic Group has developed an action plan giving the group a clear focus on enabling Service leavers and veterans to access, sustain and progress in good jobs.
The Scottish Government provided £35,000 of additional funding to SCQF to develop a skills recognition tool.
The Scottish Government continues to offer work placements and Fixed Term Appointments to veterans through the Going Forward Into Employment programme.
Finance and Debt
The Scottish Government published the second Benefit Take-up Strategy in October 2021 and veterans stakeholders were consulted during its development.
The Scottish Government funded the publication of the Money Advice Trust's new guide on 'How to Deal with Debt'.
Health and Wellbeing
The Scottish Veterans Care Network was launched in November 2020, with an initial priority to develop a Mental Health Action Plan, which will be available in December 2021.
The Drug and Alcohol Information System was implemented on 1 December 2020 and went live across Scotland on 1 April 2021.
The Scottish Government continued to fund Combat Stress and Veterans First Point during 2021-22.
Making a Home in Civilian Society
Funding continues to be available to deliver homes specifically for veterans where Local Authorities identify this as a strategic priority. Since 2012 over £6m has been made available through the programme to deliver over 100 homes for Veterans.
We continue to support Housing Options Scotland to provide its Military Matters project.
A pathway to prevent homelessness for veterans is currently being developed by members of the Veterans Scotland Housing Group and will be published by the end of 2021.