Disabled ex-military personnel given help finding civilian jobs

Disabled veterans of the Iraq war and other medically-discharged military
personnel can now take advantage of a new support service to help them find
jobs.

The Interwork Services programme aims to help the 15,000 servicemen and
women who are medically discharged every year get into civilian employment.

The scheme is run by disabled employment specialist Remploy and the Regular
Forces Employment Association, and offers free profiling of personnel to find
the best match of skills for the available positions.

Remploy also provides free support mechanisms to ensure employees and
employers work successfully, as well as disability awareness training for
bosses.

Stuart Knowles, director of Interwork Services, said medically-discharged
service personnel offered a large, untapped pool of skills, which could help
fill the UK’s skills gap.

However, he said many needed help to adjust to civilian life and to cope
with their disabilities.

"Some of those who are medically discharged from the armed services
feel like their life has come to an end," Knowles said.

"Their dreams have been shattered and they feel guilt and
depression."

He added that a large number of those medically discharged were young people
who hadn’t completed their probationary period and were entering the workforce
with no skills.

He hopes an increased profile for the project will result in increased
funding from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

However, government statistics, exposed by Personnel Today last month,
showed the MoD to be one the worst employers when it comes to disability. The
statistics revealed a complete absence of disabled employees among its 93,450
personnel.

By Michael Millar

www.personneltoday.com/goto/22141

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