Labour to offer jobs and care for those leaving armed forces

 

Andrew Grice
Wednesday 11 September 2013 23:15
Comments
Labour says the forces should boost in-service training so personnel have more skills when they leave
Labour says the forces should boost in-service training so personnel have more skills when they leave

Labour will today announce plans to improve the lives of servicemen and women when they leave the forces after research found that they cost the state more than £100m a year.

The Opposition wants the Government to ease the transition to civilian life by doing more to help veterans find new jobs and provide better healthcare. Their alcohol problems cost the state an estimated £35m annually, mental health (including post traumatic stress disorder) £26m, unemployment £21m and family breakdown £16m.

Labour argues that there is an urgent need to ensure more support for personnel who leave before clocking up four years' service, as they receive less state help than other leavers. It is urging private skills providers to offer free training to help early leavers find work or start a business. Labour says the forces should boost in-service training so personnel have more skills when they leave, and they should have access to the Government's Work Programme on “day one” after they depart.

Jim Murphy, the shadow Defence Secretary, told The Independent: “Failing to support those who protect our nation is a waste of human potential and money. The sacrifices and struggles of those who serve often do not end when they leave the battlefield. We can go further in what government and civil society offers veterans.”

He added: “Businesses have a duty to recognise that the talents learnt on the frontline can be of value on the shop floor while government should provide early and unique support. Crucially, we must give personnel skills whilst service so they are equipped to excel in civilian life. This is not about special treatment but upholding the principle of the [military] covenant that no-one should be disadvantaged as a result of military service.”

Mark Francois, the Defence Minister responsible for veterans, said: “The Government takes the welfare of veterans very seriously, that’s why we are rebuilding the Armed Forces Covenant and investing in better care, like £6.5m for the next generation of bionic legs for our wounded.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in