As part of the Armed Forces Covenant, the Department for Work and Pensions has initiatives that help current and former members of the armed forces and their families access Jobcentre Plus services…
This includes having an armed forces champion in every Jobcentre Plus district who ensures that we provide support that meets the needs of the armed forces community. The information below explains the role of the armed forces champion and the way members of the armed forces and their families can access services.
The armed forces champion focuses only on the Jobcentre Plus support available to:
- service leavers
- serving personnel currently within their resettlement period
- spouses and civil partners of currently serving and ex-service personnel
The role of the armed forces champion is to:
- develop and maintain joint working arrangements between Jobcentre Plus and the armed forces community in their Jobcentre Plus district
- provide information to Jobcentre Plus staff about specific armed forces initiatives
- provide an understanding of the issues the forces community face that can be a barrier to employment
- be the first point of contact for Jobcentre Plus staff and services welfare and families staff to advise on queries regarding individual armed forces cases – including serving personnel, their families and veterans
- focus specifically on the Jobcentre Plus support available to service leavers, those within their resettlement period and spouses and civil partners of currently serving and ex-service personnel – where necessary and appropriate, the champions will work to put support in place
The champions work in partnership with the armed forces community and support organisations in their district, as well as local and national employers, to:
- identify work trials
- employment opportunities
- support service leavers and their families
They also work to raise the profile of the service community in terms of the skills, knowledge and experience they can offer, and work with colleagues to ease some of the barriers to work being faced by service families.
The champion will tailor their activities to match the needs of the armed forces community in their district. This means some activities may differ from district to district. The role and responsibilities of the champion remain the same regardless of location.
The champions are not customer facing. This means a service leaver could not walk into their local Jobcentre Plus office and expect their local champion to be based in that office. Instead, the champions maintain close contact with Jobcentre Plus advisers who make them aware of armed forces issues and raise issues with the champion if the customer requests it.
Each of the armed services has appointed points of contacts who form a link with the relevant champions within their area. Members of the service community who wish to bring an issue to the attention of their local champion can do so either through their:
- nominated service focal point
- local Jobcentre Plus office