Impact

In monitoring progress in the delivery of my recommendations to the Scottish Government it is important to consider the impact on those I aim to support, namely Veterans and their families, whose lives should benefit from the changing policy and practices that result. The action necessary to make things better can be complex, it often calls for joined-up thinking and collaboration across different agencies and it doesn’t happen overnight but we are starting to see real improvement.  That is down to the effort of many individuals and organisations who have got behind my recommendations and worked together to influence and deliver change. That should be acknowledged and celebrated.

We do not yet have good enough Scotland level data to be able to measure and report progress in a quantitive way, with numbers. That is my hope for the future, once we have data from the 2022 Census. What we can do for now is report qualitative progress, on the basis of evidence and observations. This year for the first time I am including in my annual reporting, a separate report on impact, which sets out the SVC recommendations which have now been fully achieved. Many more have progressed and are showing as ‘partially implemented’ or ‘implemented but work should continue to embed’. You can view recommendations fully achieved here.

Alternatively, you can download and print a table containing the recommendations fully achieved here.

Recommendations from Transition in Scotland, 2015

2019 Status

2020 Status

2021 Status

Reports on progress towards Implementation

4Extending "Opportunities for All' programme - The Scottish Government should consider introducing flexibility to relax the age restrictions, extending the eligibility for criteria within ‘Opportunities for All’ for Early Service Leavers.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
5Early Service Leaver pilot scheme -The Scottish Government and the Third Sector should consider piloting a Community Jobs Scotland (CJS) programme aimed at Early Service Leavers.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
8Modern Apprenticeships - The Scottish Government and Skills Development Scotland should consider actively promoting Modern Apprenticeships to Early Service Leavers and to their potential employers.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
14Veterans and Families Research Institute - The Scottish Government should engage with the Veterans and Families Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University to help identify evidence needs and ensure research into transition in Scotland is also included in future programmes.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement

Recommendations from Housing for Service Leavers & Veterans in Scotland, 2016

1MOD advice and briefings relevant to Scotland - The Scottish Government should continue to work with the UK Government to ensure that online advice and briefings reflect housing policy and provision in Scotland, so that Service Leavers choosing to settle in Scotland are not disadvantaged.
(This recommendation was pulled through from Recommendation 1 in the 2015 Transition Report.)
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
2Proving a “local connection” - The requirement to prove a “local connection” needs far better explanation in MOD, Scottish Government and Local Authority publications, including leaflets and websites, targeted at housing providers, veterans and Service personnel.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
3Routes into social housing - If Scotland is to become the destination of choice for Service Leavers, then the Scottish Government and housing providers should give consideration to smoothing their route into social housing. Particular attention should be given to and removing any potential disadvantage caused by a lack of “local connection” brought about by military Service, both for those serving in Scotland and elsewhere.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
4Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces - The Scottish Government should consider wider distribution of the Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces and work with MOD, public sector organisations and charities in Scotland to raise its profile, ensuring it appears on all Scottish Local Authority websites and on relevant UK Government websites.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
5Review and Improve Housing Guide - The Scottish Government should review its Scottish Housing Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces with the aim of improving content, visual impact and accessibility.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
6Review Scottish Government Website Housing Information - The Scottish Government should review the information provided on its website relating to housing targeted at Service Leavers, veterans and their families in order to improve accessibility and currency.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
7Consolidation Scottish Government information for veterans - The Scottish Government should consider placing all information for veterans and Service Leavers (not just information on housing) in one area like the mygov.scot website.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
11Consider promoting Shelter Scotland and ASAP Citizens Advice Scotland Websites - The Scottish Government and other housing information providers should consider taking a lead from Shelter Scotland and ASAP Citizens Advice Scotland when looking to upgrade their websites and generate a more extensive online presence, and should consider promoting these organisations’ websites more extensively.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
12Ensure housing information is available to a wider audience - The Scottish Government and Veterans Scotland should work together with partners, including the UK Government and other parts of the Third sector, to ensure that housing information is easily visible on the Veterans UK and other pan-UK websites in order to reach a wider audience.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement

Recommendations from The Veterans Community – Employability, Skills and Learning, 2016

1Establish a Veterans Employability, Skills and Learning Working Group - The Scottish Government should establish a Veterans Employability Strategic Working Group of key partners to provide strategic leadership and to oversee the activity required to fulfil the ambitions of more, and better, employment.
Progress towards achievement
2Scottish Veterans Fund - The Scottish Government should support proposals that promote employability and increase job opportunities amongst the veterans community as the priority when allocating resources from the Scottish Veterans Fund.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
4Regional employability pilot - The Scottish Government should initiate and co-ordinate a regional employability pilot project, based in an area where there is a high military and veteran population. The purpose should be to deliver an increased number of meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities for Service Leavers, veterans, and spouses and partners.
Progress towards achievement
7Improving literacy and numeracy - The Career Transition Partnership (CTP), Local Authority community-based support services, colleges, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and charities should promote the benefits of improved literacy and numeracy skills amongst Service Leavers and veterans, directing them to appropriate community-based support, including the 'Big Plus' initiative. The aim should be to generate greater awareness amongst veterans with specific needs, their families and employers in order that learning opportunities can be accessed more readily.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
11Modern Apprenticeships - The Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland and Colleges Scotland should develop a plan to promote the Modern Apprenticeship programme to Early Service Leavers, veterans who would benefit from up-skilling or retraining, and spouses and partners.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
14Articulation - The Scottish Funding Council, universities and colleges to specifically consider the veterans community as they embark on the expansion of articulation, as recommended by the Commission on Widening Access.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
16Veterans Network/Champions in colleges and universities - Colleges Scotland and Universities Scotland should work with their members and Veterans Scotland to establish a network of champions across all colleges and universities. The champions can provide the first point of contact for members of the ex-Service community applying for, or undertaking, further and higher education. They should also consider offering mentoring, advice on applications and funding, and be part of the wider champions’ network in Scotland.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
17Parliamentary scrutiny of veterans issues - The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work should in due course report the progress made against implementing the recommendations in this report (and my two previous reports) to the Scottish Parliament. The aim should be to raise the profile of veterans issues amongst Parliamentarians and provide them with the information necessary to scrutinise the Scottish Government’s work in this field.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement

Recommendations from Veterans Health and Wellbeing - A Distinctive Scottish Approach, 2018

1Establish "A Distinctive Scottish Approach to Veterans’ Health" - The Scottish Government and NHS(S) should commit to establishing a distinctive Scottish Approach to Veterans’ Health at a strategic level, accept or adapt the guiding principles of this approach and work with their partners to embed it at an operational level.
Progress towards achievement
2Improving collaboration and partnership The Scottish Government should reinvigorate senior participation in cross-border networks with a view to improved information sharing and increased involvement in collaborative working and initiatives.
Progress towards achievement
3Leadership and governance - The Armed Forces and Veterans Health Joint Group should refresh its membership and remit in order to provide the vital strategic leadership that will deliver the Scottish Approach to Veterans’ Health.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
4National Managed Clinical Network - The Scottish Government and NHS(S) should establish a network on veterans’ health. The network will have oversight of delivering the Scottish Approach to Veterans’ Health, and will consider the key issues raised in this report and others it deems relevant. It should reflect current structures in the health and social care sector in its membership and approach.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement
12Chronic pain management - The National Advisory Committee for Chronic Pain (NACCP) should consider veterans specifically as part of their work to improve chronic pain management in Scotland.
Progress towards achievement
18Veterans Champions - The Scottish Government and Veterans Scotland should build on recent work to support the network of NHS and Council champions to develop the role so that it can continue to be effective in supporting the delivery of health and social care to veterans within the new health landscape of Scotland.
Achieved in 2020
Progress towards achievement