Veterans’ Skills

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 18 January 2024.

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Photo of Gerald Jones Gerald Jones Shadow Minister (Wales), Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on helping to ensure potential employers recognise veterans’ skills and prior learning.

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)

Veterans’ employment is at an all-time high, with 87% of those leaving service finding employment within six months. We have recently launched the employers’ guide to hiring veterans, showcasing best practice on how employers can benefit from veterans’ skills and qualifications. I regularly champion veterans’ employment to Cabinet colleagues, as employing veterans is one of the best decisions that businesses can make.

Photo of Gerald Jones Gerald Jones Shadow Minister (Wales), Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Scotland)

Is it not the case that, after 13 years of Conservative Government, Ministers have created a postcode lottery for veterans and halved employment support for them? Specifically, will the Minister tell the House how many veterans have been employed as a result of the civil service interview scheme for veterans?

Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)

When it comes to veterans’ care in this country and how it has changed in the past 13 years, it is hard to take the hon. Gentleman seriously—those services have been transformed. The number of those employed through the civil service scheme is, I believe, over 1,000, but I will write to him with the correct figure. Having a job is the No. 1 factor that improves the life chances of any veteran in this country; it is the real focus of what we are doing at the Office of Veterans’ Affairs, and I am incredibly proud of those efforts. Again, I lament the fact that that is not reflected by Labour. I want to see that change as we go into the next election, so that veterans know that whoever wins it, their interests will be represented properly.