Positive Futures – Employment, Skills and Learning – Recommendation 5

Statutory support should be extended to spouses and partners with additional ‘wrap-around’ packages considered for Early Service Leavers and those struggling in a more competitive jobs market.
Scottish Government Committed Actions
Scottish Government Progress Update
SVC 2022
Assessment
1In relation to the support provided while still serving, as with Recommendation One, SG will use all the levers we have at government and stakeholder level, including working collaboratively across the devolved administrations to press the UK Government for an extension of support to spouses and partners.On the extension of support to spouses/partners, this was discussed with MOD in May 2022, with no indication of an intention to change from the current rules that spouses and partners could take up ELC eligibility in the event of the death of the individual as a result of time in Service, or if they are unable to take up the offer as a result of a health problem or disability, also acquired in service or as a result of it.
Through No One Left Behind delivery of phase 2 which began roll out on 1st April 2022, decisions on delivery of employability support are taken at local level through Local Employability Partnerships (LEPs). Support is provided based on user needs as well as the needs of the local area in terms of skills and employment opportunities in those areas. Support to spouse/partners of Veterans is provided under No One Left Behind including wrap around support needed for those unable to take up support offers due to health or disability.
2For spouses and partners aged 25 and over, SG will seek to build on existing services such as the Women Returners Programme which aims to support women who have had a career break back into work. The programme has a particular focus on supporting women that experience additional barriers to employment including female veterans and spouses/partners of veterans. Successful projects commenced in January 2021 and include RFEA - The Forces Employment Charity, Female veteran/spouse employment within Scotland project and Muckle Media’s Women into Communications project which aims to support women from armed forces/partners into PR and communication jobs.SDS have been delivering the Women Returners Programme from October 2021 on behalf of Scottish Government. 12 providers were chosen to deliver projects following a public procurement exercise for an initial 6 month programme (Oct 21 - Mar 22). 11 of these providers are continuing to deliver for a further 12 months with projects on track to complete in March 2023. No projects specifically target female veterans and spouses of veterans but individuals are still eligible to apply to projects if they fall into programme eligibility of having previously worked and been unemployed for over 6 months. Current projects available here: https://careers.myworldofwork.co.uk/learn-and-train/women-returners-programme.
3Many early service leavers and those struggling in the more competitive labour market will be young people. They are eligible for support through the Young Person’s Guarantee. The ambition of the Young Person’s Guarantee is that, within two years, every person aged between 16 and 24 will have the opportunity to study; take up an apprenticeship, job or work experience; or participate in formal volunteering or enterprise opportunity.Under SDS' MOU with MOD, SDS and CTP are developing a referral process for those Early Service Leavers (ESL) who may be entitled to or will benefit from SDS Careers Information, Advice and Guidance services. There is also a new SDS ESL Adviser in post. SDS has also built relationships with the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity who support those who experience difficulty in transitioning out of the Navy, in particular younger leavers. Further meetings will be held to plan the delivery of Continued Professional Development sessions to raise awareness and establish closer links and referral process.

Read the Positive Futures: Employment, Skills and Learning Report here.