Civil Service starts guaranteed interview scheme for veterans

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The initiative, known as the ‘Great Place to Work for Veterans’, delivers on a manifesto commitment and is the most recent step in a wider commitment from the government to make the Civil Service a more welcoming place for veterans.

As of this week, recruitment campaigns in the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office, including UK Border Force, will begin to include the option for veterans to indicate that they wish to apply under the initiative.

Any veteran who opts into the scheme and meets the minimum criteria required for a role will be guaranteed to move to the next stage of selection, such as an interview or online test.

The scheme is designed to encourage more veterans to join the Civil Service when they leave the armed forces ensuring the Civil Service fully benefits from the wide ranging skills and talents in the armed forces community. It will also boost the employment prospects of those who have served, helping them to advance their careers beyond the armed forces.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs has been established to push the veterans agenda across government.

So it’s fantastic that the Civil Service is leading the way in offering more opportunities to veterans.

Many ex-service personnel already work in the civil service, bringing invaluable skills and experience learned from the armed forces to the heart of government.

The new scheme expands on the Going Forward into Employment Programme, which helps veterans and their spouses into junior roles in the Civil Service. This new scheme will open up roles at all levels across the Civil Service and in locations right across the United Kingdom.

There will not be a time limit for those leaving service on when they can use the initiative.

David Richmond, Director of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and a former Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland’, commented:

I loved just about every moment of my military career; it was a privilege to serve alongside wonderful individuals and be part of a great team with a strong sense of purpose. We enjoyed superb training that prepared us for every job, and this has served me extremely well in my civilian career, which latterly has been with the Civil Service.

My training has given me a framework within which to apply critical thinking and the communication skills to influence at the most senior levels, not to mention the technical skills learned and experiences gained along the way. The great place to work for veterans scheme will encourage more veterans to join the Civil Service and to continue to serve the country in a new role.

Lee Bushby, veteran and civil servant, said:

Joining the Civil Service after nearly 25 years in the Army, there can at times be some misunderstanding of the wealth and depth of talent that a veteran can bring to the table; for me when I reflect back on my career I can see that resilience was a key skill that the Army gave me and this alongside my leadership and strategic planning experience that I gained as senior Warrant Officer Communications Specialist working in Headquarter operational environment, gave me the tools I needed to succeed in my second career.

The work of the OVA includes:

  • Pulling together all functions of government, and better coordinating charity sector provision, in order to ensure this nation’s life-long duty to those who have served
  • Ensuring that every single veteran and their family knows where to turn to access support when required
  • Helping to generate a ‘single view of the veteran’ by making better use of data to understand veterans’ needs and where gaps in provision exist
  • Improving the perception of veterans

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