30 October 2020 (Edition - Issue 48)

General Support
Veterans Assist Scotland - looks to signpost and connect the Veterans' Community including their families, with the organisations and services best placed to help with information, advice and support that they may need from across Scotland.

It also include details of Armed Forces and Veterans Champions from across Scotland.

V1P Lothian Resilience guide - COVID-19

V1P Lothian has developed this Resilience guide to help you navigate through this very difficult time. Our world is ever-changing at the moment. It would be hard not to worry about COVID-19 and how it could affect your life, and those you love. Worry, anxiety and difficulties with our mood are common problems at the best of times, and now this might feel overwhelming.

A PDF Copy of the guide is available here

THE ARMED FORCES COVENANT -A Guide for Local Authorities: How to deliver the Covenant in your area


Veterans Scotland Information Booklet

The updated copy of the information booklet (August 2020) is available via the link here

Scotland Guide

The guide was developed as a collaborative effort between Veterans Scotland, Skills Development Scotland and Army HQ Scotland.  Its aim is to provide information to those currently serving in the Armed Forces, Service Leavers and their families who are thinking of settling in Scotland. The Scottish Government aims to make Scotland the destination of choice for service leavers and their families and a great quality of life is certainly here for the taking.

Education, Employment & Training Support

A Better Working Future for Ex-Service Personnel

A collaborative approach to employment of the ex-Service community, in partnership with Forces in Mind Trust

Background and Aims Employment of ex-Service personnel remains one of the principle challenges for all organisations looking to ensure that ex-Service personnel and their families can build successful civilian lives. But the world of work is changing faster than ever before. The types of jobs available as well as the skills needed to do them are changing faster than many people can keep up with. Combined with effects of an ageing workforce, automation, a growing skills shortage and the impacts of the UK’s exit from the EU, navigating the UK jobs market is as difficult and confusing as it has ever been.

SDS Individual Training Accounts (ITA)

 Get up to £200 towards the cost of a training course with an SDS Individual Training Account (ITA).

Use the money to build the skills you need for a job. Or get some training to take your career to the next level.

And because it's not a loan, you don't have to pay it back.

Applying for your ITA

Applications are now open until the 28th February 2021 or until we accept up to 28,000 applications, whichever comes first. 

The career support available for Armed Forces veterans and their families

At Veterans Scotland, we were delighted to see the Skills Development Scotland video clip, copied below, which describes the support available to all members of the Armed Forces Community, serving, reservists, veterans, spouses, partners and their children. The services and advice provided by SDS is available wherever you are in Scotland and they will assist you to develop your employment prospects. We feel that the work being done by SDS is a good example of how a statutory organisation can support our Armed Forces Community and ensure the Armed Forces Covenant continues to be delivered across Scotland. Congratulations to SDS for producing the video, which enhances and mutually supports the services already available to those in transition, veterans and families.

Leaving the Armed Forces is a big life change. Hear from Shaun on his experience and how we support veterans and their families in Scotland with those important career decisions. 

New report finds employers struggle to recognise and access the skills of ex-Service personnel

A new report has found that ex-Service personnel often fail to communicate their skills and experience when seeking employment. Meanwhile, employers struggle to reach the ex-Service Community and, as a consequence, are missing out on a valuable labour source with the skillsets they require.

The research from GoodPeople, funded by Forces in Mind Trust (FiMT), took place before the Covid-19 pandemic, when employment was at a record high. Notwithstanding the current reverse of this trend, the findings bear close examination, given the UK’s future recovery relies on improved productivity and a better performing labour market.

While the report confirmed that ex-Service personnel can perform well in commercial roles and their skills match those needed by employers, it also suggests that employers are struggling to reach this community – particularly Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The researchers reported a considerable gap in military-commercial skills translation, with the traditional CV-based recruitment system often failing to communicate the skills and experience ex-Service personnel bring to businesses. 36 per cent of employers found it difficult to identify and understand transferable skills gained from the military in CVs and application forms from ex-Service personnel. There was, however, a clear interest from employers in hiring more ex-Service personnel. Of the 89 SME employers surveyed and interviewed in the Solent area, 74 per cent identified an organisational desire to access and hire from the ex-Service community. As a result, the report recommends future employment solutions are market led, focused on achieving better quality skills translation and matching, and collaborative, to ensure SME employers are able to access the ex-Service labour force more effectively.

Other recommendations include improved networking, mentoring, advice and support from the business community, as well as greater access to work experience, internships and apprenticeships for ex-Service personnel.

The findings have implications for the challenges ex-Service personnel will face in a post-Covid-19 employment market. The report identified the challenges faced by ex-Service personnel when the labour market was still buoyant. It is anticipated that these will be exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19. As a result, GoodPeople concluded that employers, policymakers, civil society and local communities should work together to benefit both ex-Service personnel and SME employers.

The report is based on a six-month study and feasibility assessment of an innovative new pilot, aimed at improving employment outcomes for ex-Service personnel and their partners. The project was focussed in the Solent area, working with the ex-Service community and employers to better understand the employment challenges facing both the veteran community and SMEs seeking to access them.

Despite the challenges identified, the findings highlight an important opportunity for the ex-Service community, as acute skills shortages, wider labour market challenges and an increased interest in employing ex-Service personnel were all identified by the research. The skills which Service leavers are likely to have are particularly in demand for businesses generally, and both veterans and SMEs would benefit from taking forward some of the findings highlighted by the report.

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust, said:

“At the heart of this project is a desire to deliver fulfilling employment to the ex-Service community, to the benefit of the business community. We can see that there is an appetite amongst employers to access the ex-Service labour market, but more needs to be done to help individuals communicate the skills they gained during service and their value to a commercial employer. The implications are significant; GoodPeople have identified that employers are missing out on valuable skills and experience, and we know that difficulty finding work can have a knock-on effect for ex-Service personnel, affecting health and wellbeing, relationships and personal finances.

“Although many of the recommendations in this report aren’t new, the findings provide important evidence, which is particularly timely as we see the troubling effects of Covid-19 on employment rates. And the radical view that the CV is no longer fit for purpose as a recruiting tool warrants the attention of all involved in the employment market, where this must surely be the time to innovate. Policymakers and employers should now act on these recommendations to ensure that ex-Service personnel are not left behind.”

Richard Tyrie, CEO of GoodPeople, said:

“Our research proves that veterans have a host of transferable skills that are highly prized by employers, but especially SMEs and micro-businesses, a sector that is likely to be the future engine of economic growth and job creation in the UK.    

In a rapidly changing jobs market and record levels of unemployment, we need to do more to help connect former service men and women with SME employers and their jobs, and argue the case for the ex-forces community being able to provide the high value skills that are vital in driving productivity and growth for the UK economy.

Hiring from the ex-services community is not only good for business, it’s the right thing to do for those that have served our country – but more needs to be done to close the gap that exists.  Hopefully this research is that start of a new conversation about the value that ex-Service men and women can play in our economic recovery”

Funding & Financial Support



Scottish Veterans Fund 2021-2022

The £200,000 Scottish Veterans Fund is open for bids from projects that improve the lives of former service personnel. The 2021/22 fund, supported by the Scottish Government and Standard Life Aberdeen, also funds groups who help the families of veterans. This year the criteria has been extended to include projects which address the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the veterans community.

Additional support will also be available to bidders if desired. Evaluation Support Scotland will be providing a session on defining project outcomes on Monday 12 October 2020 from 0930 to 1230. 

Additionally, the Scottish Government will be running a one hour session providing overview of the scheme, application form and hold a Q&A session the following day. If you are interested in attending one or both of these sessions, please let Ally Forrester know at

Copies of the grant application form and application guidance document are available via the links below.  Please note these have been updated from previous years forms and guidance.

Scottish Government press release on the Scottish Veterans Fund

The Veterans’ Foundation continues to provide pandemic-based and other grants.  The former may be considered out-of-committee and decided upon within a week.  The deadlines for normal grant applications this year is the the end of Dec 20.  The maximum grant in both circumstances is £30K and the application process is online, here:

If you have any queries, please contact us at
Health Support & Informattion


Scottish Veterans Care Network: Launch Event

  Dear All
We are delighted to invite you to the official launch event of the Scottish Veterans Care Network. This virtual launch has been rescheduled from its original April 2020 date due to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, and the SVCN thank you for your patience and for all your efforts during these extremely challenging times.
This launch will introduce delegates to the planned objectives for the Network and give you an opportunity to contribute to the shape of the Network and its priorities via interactive breakout sessions. You will also hear from key partners on the importance of the Network and what it means to them.
Date: Thursday 19 November 2020
Time: 13:30 – 16:00
Platform: via Microsoft Teams
Registration: Please register here
The event is free to attend and joining details will be sent to you upon confirmation of registration (if you don’t receive an email, please check your junk mail folder)
Please note Registration will close on Thursday 12 November 2020.
The Agenda will be circulated in early November.
We would be very grateful if you could please disseminate this invitation to colleagues and any interested parties.
We look forward to seeing you all there.
Kind Regards
Dr Lucy Abraham
Clinical Lead, Scottish Veterans Care Network
Housing Support

A Scottish Housing Guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & Ex-service personnel

An updated copy of the Scottish Governments "A Scottish housing guide for people leaving the Armed Forces & ex-Service personnel" has now been published.  

Housing in Scotland Guide

Poppyscotland have recently produced an information guide for their Housing in Scotland booklet.

SFHA makes recommendations for the future of housing with care and support

SFHA has released a new paper on housing with care and support provided by housing associations. It sets out existing successful community models as well as key learning from housing associations’ experiences of delivering care and support during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Full Story

Membership News and Other Updates

The King's Own Scottish Borderers


As previously notified the Regimental Association decided to raise funds to erect a memorial to all Borderers who served in Northern Ireland on OP BANNER. we are pleased to notify you that the stone is now complete and in place in THE MEMORIAL GARDEN PALACE BARRACKS BELFAST. The stone will remain here in perpetuity as a fitting memorial to all who served and lost their lives.

The President and Trustees would like to thank all Borderers and friends who donated to make this possible, particular thanks goes to the NI BRANCH for their assistance.

There is still time to donate, please make any donation into:
A/C 00148849, Sort 20-58-17.

Lance Thornton
Copyright © 2020 The King's Own Scottish Borderers, All rights reserved. 
The KOSB newsletter for information and news from HHQ. 

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The King's Own Scottish Borderers,
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The Angel’s Share for 200-strong ‘digital army’ of young people to be trained up in cyber

A former whisky site has been earmarked as a base to train up a 200-strong ‘digital army’ of young people hoping to become the next generation of cyber security professionals.

The Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock will be repurposed as a training base for 16-24-year-olds seeking to make a move into highly-prized digital roles, after a £1.5 million funding package was announced by the UK Government under its Kickstart Scheme.

The HALO centre is due to open its doors in May 2021 under its #RockStars programme and the youngsters will be trained in the latest digital & cyber skills and techniques. Their work will help protect the UK’s businesses and organisations from potential cyber attacks, as well as open up new opportunities in digital businesses. The training will result in a HALO accredited qualification to support future employment opportunities.

The HALO Kilmarnock is a £63m brownfield urban regeneration project on a 23-acre site, formerly the home of Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch whisky. Since its inception, The HALO’s stated aim has been to create an industry-leading cyber and digital training and learning facility at its Enterprise and Innovation Hub, currently under construction, establishing The HALO at the forefront of the “4th Industrial Revolution”.

The HALO has appointed Business Resilience International Management, founded by Mandy Haeburn-Little, former CEO of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, to design the HALO Cyber Course. The training will be the catalyst for further courses and will entail a combination of on-site training and e-learning, preparing the participants with life skills and expertise suitable for employment in a number of fields. Under the scheme, all 200 young people – their number chosen to reflect the fact that this is Johnnie Walker’s 200th anniversary – will be paid for a minimum of 25 hours per week.

Upon completion of their first six months of training and work experience, it is hoped that participants will then be able to enter a further six-month work placement. These placements are expected to be with a range of different companies, from The HALO’s corporate partners, such as ScottishPower, Barclays PLC and Anderson Strathern, to start-up companies based at The HALO and beyond. It is hoped that these work placements will, in time, become full-time opportunities.

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Registered as a charity in Scotland, SC 033880.

Veterans Scotland are also members of the Cobseo Executive committee.


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