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Finding work

There are a number of organisations that have a commitment to employing and supporting members of the Armed Forces community. These organisations are part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.

As a Gold award winner, we recognise that those leaving the Armed Forces may be disadvantaged in terms of securing meaningful employment and adjusting to a civilian environment. We use a Guaranteed Interview Scheme (GIS) to address this disadvantage.

This GIS applies to the following:

  • Any serving member of the Armed Forces and who is within 12 weeks of their discharge date
  • Service leavers within 3 years of their Discharge date
  • or where the Armed Forces are the individual’s last substantive employer

We have a work placement scheme for those who are leaving or who have recently left the UK Armed Forces. There are a variety of work areas that can offer placements.

Step into Health career opportunities

Step into Health provides a dedicated pathway for the Armed Forces community to access the numerous career opportunities available in the NHS. Step into Health is made up of NHS organisations which have pledged their support to the programme. Members of the Armed Forces community can connect to NHS organisations to set up training opportunities, clinical and general work placements, insight days and application support. Step into Health is open to all service leavers, reservists, veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and the families of all of these.

Cobseo also lists job vacancies for Armed Forces related organisations.

It can take a while to find suitable employment and a regular income. You may wish to consider claiming benefits in the interim.

Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across Great Britain by postcode area. Whether you can claim it and the way you manage your claim depends on where you live and your personal circumstances.

You may be able to get Universal Credit if you are:

  • 18 or over
  • single
  • a couple or family living in certain areas
  • on a low income or unemployed
  • not in full-time education or training

You can’t claim if you’ve three or more children and you’ve not claimed Universal Credit in the last six months. You may be entitled to claim existing benefits instead.

Service personnel who have served abroad are exempt from the three-month residency requirement for claims for Universal Credit on arrival in the UK. Service spouses and partners and their adult children will be treated in the same way as returning service personnel and will be able to claim Universal Credit immediately on arrival in the UK.

Support organisations

  • Job Centre Plus has initiatives that help current and former members of the Armed Forces and their families.
  • Universal Jobmatch is one of the largest job search sites in Europe and allows you to find jobs, upload your CV and keep track of your applications.
  • Career Transitions Partnership provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Marines. Support can be accessed up to two years from leaving the service.
  • RFEA is a Forces employment charity providing a job-finding service. They can offer help with your CV and interview techniques, training advice and finding a job.
  • The Officers Association can offer professional, impartial and practical help and advice to help ex-officers build their next career.
  • Civvy Street from the Royal British Legion aims to provide support and mentoring for everyone who has recently left the forces and is looking for employment, and the chance to use the skills they gained while serving.
  • British Forces Resettlement Services is a Social Enterprise created to help the Armed Forces Community with their transition into civilian life.
  • Veteran Employment Transition Support is a Social Enterprise that brings together charities, businesses and the MOD to improve employment outcomes for veterans, employers and the UK economy.
  • Remploy is an employment service specifically designed to support people with disabilities to find sustainable employment.
  • The Poppy Factory is a national employment charity for veterans with health conditions or impairments.
  • Future Horizons is open to all early service leavers across all services and regardless of how long you have served. The programme is designed to help you find the support you need to tackle the job market and find employment.
  • Sorted! is seven charities working together to provide a wide range of employment services to the Armed Forces community.
  • Help for Heroes Career Recovery can help you to apply for work, maximise your skills and develop new ones.
  • National Careers Service can give personalised support to help you find a new career, identify your skills, build your CV and learn interview techniques.
  • Lifeworks – ex-Armed Forces is a 4-5 day course tailored specifically towards helping ex-Armed Forces personnel secure the future they want.
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