Publication - Progress report

Veterans and Armed Forces community: Scottish Government support 2021

This report highlights our continuing support for the Veterans and Armed Forces community in Scotland and provides an update on this year’s achievements and work undertaken to improve support and access to services for our Armed Forces, Veterans and their families.

Veterans and Armed Forces community: Scottish Government support 2021
Wider Achievements and Support

Wider Achievements and Support

Armed Forces Third Sector Resilience Fund

The impact of the pandemic has meant that many charities have been facing severe financial difficulties. Cobseo, the Confederation of Service Charities, ran two surveys of their membership across the whole of the UK last year, which estimated a shortfall of £250 million in fundraising when compared to a normal year; they expect a similar financial impact on the sector this year.

To help address this, £1 million has been made available by the Scottish Government to create a fund to provide direct financial relief to third sector organisations that provide support to the Armed Forces community in Scotland. The Corra Foundation, specialists in grant management and support, were brought in to help administer the fund. Nineteen organisations were awarded funding.

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has co-ordinated Armed Forces Community-focused Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) webinars with key Armed Forces Community partners, compered by Scottish Water. To date, two webinars have been held in March and July 2021. The first webinar included sessions from PACE, The Army in Scotland, Career Transition Partnership, Tri-Service Family Federations & Veterans Scotland. The event focused on transition and wider support for veterans & families during a period of uncertainty and possible redundancy. The second event was focused on the support available from Veterans UK, specifically from the Defence Transition Services and Veterans Welfare Service. The partnership event also had a session on the support available from Poppyscotland and SDS.

The webinars were both recorded and are available on the My World of Work website. More webinars are planned for the future on relevant AFC-Civilian partnership topics.

Furthermore, SDS has continued to work in collaboration with the Army in Scotland to deliver virtual Future Skills sessions for Serving personnel. These sessions focus on skills for the future, competency-based interviews and using the STAR model to articulate the meta skills used every day by those serving in the military. Three sessions have been held between September last year and August 2021.

Women's Returner Programme

The Scottish Government provided £500,000 in 2020-21 to the Women's Returner Programme. In 2020 the programme's criteria was extended to include female veterans and spouses/partners of Serving Personnel. The purpose of the programme is aimed at helping women back into work and to work with employers to provide valuable advice, peer support and access to training and work experience which will open up opportunities for women in sectors where they are under-represented. Last year there was one successful award to an organisation supporting female veterans, spouses and partners.


The Scottish Government responded to the Ministry of Defence and Home Office's recent Immigration Fees for Armed Forces Consultation, outlining the Scottish Government's firm position on immigration fees for Armed Forces Personnel. Our position is that the migration system should not be predicated on a migrant's ability to pay, and that the UK Government should conduct a meaningful review of all immigration fees as soon as possible, as well as changes to family migration policy, to ensure that it is best supporting all new Scots, including veterans and their loved ones. The outcome of the consultation is yet to be published.