It has been announced today by the Cabinet Office that a £70M action plan known as the Veterans Strategy Action Plan, will see former forces personnel fast tracked into public sector roles in teaching, prisons and the NHS.

Also as part of the plan, funding will be used to improve healthcare services for veterans, including mental health.

Several schemes are included in the plan such as veterans fast-tracked into over 50 prisons in England and Wales, a “troops to teachers” training programme will provide veterans with a £40,000 bursary to become secondary school teachers, 100 civil service placements offered to veterans by 2024 and the continuation of the NHS’s “Step into Health” scheme, which actively encourages people leaving the military to apply for healthcare roles.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said the plan aims to make the UK “the best place in the world to be a veteran”.

“Veterans make a fantastic contribution to society and the measures announced today will help even more ex-service personnel realise their potential,” he said.

“Whether it’s more employment opportunities, better digital services and targeted support, all of Government is working to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran.”

Defence minister Leo Docherty said: “The veterans strategy action plan will boost employment, modernise services and help us better understand the needs of the veteran community.

Veterans already make a huge contribution to society and the plans outlined today step up our commitment to allowing them to live successful and healthy lives after service.”

An estimated £18M is to be invested for veterans healthcare as part of the plan.

NHS England chief executive Amanda Pritchard said the funding will make health services more accessible for veterans.

She said: “Our armed forces personnel are an immense source of pride for our country but veterans and their families need access to NHS support that is considerate of their unique circumstances.

“In line with our long-term plan, the NHS is investing an additional £18 million to make our health services more accessible and ensure GP surgeries and hospitals are even more veteran-friendly so that veterans and their families get the services they need, closer to home, which we know they want.”

Read the report in more depth including comment and reaction from various sources in the February issue of Pathfinder International magazine.

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