John Denham MP has urged local companies to join a new effort to get former members of the Armed Forces into work. National companies including O2, Greggs, Centrica and John Lewis have signed up and the scheme is open to local companies large and small to join in.
Labour has launched a new scheme, the Veterans Interview Programme, in which companies voluntarily guarantee an interview for job seeking ex-Forces.
- 22 leading UK employers have signed up to the scheme and agreed to offer UK veterans guaranteed interviews.
- Participants include O2, Aldi, Greggs, Centrica, John Lewis, and New Look and many others.
- Many UK Armed Forces are being made redundant and in difficult economic circumstances there will be an increasing number looking for employment. They have a wide range of experiences and skills arising from Service and Labour believes we must all do more to provide additional support.
Mr Denham has today written to businesses across Southampton, encouraging them to consider signing up to the programme.
Mr Denham said:
“Initiatives such as this underline our country’s respect and goodwill towards the Service community. This scheme is voluntary and valuable, and I hope all parties, charities and many businesses will get involved.
“It is wrong that someone who has served in Afghanistan is expected to join the back of the queue at the local job centre. This is not about special treatment but overcoming barriers to provide a level playing field for service people.
“It is all of our duty to help provide a smooth transition from military to civilian life. Increasing veterans’ wellbeing and opportunities is a priority for Labour.”
Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP said:
“The talents of those leaving the Services are a big asset to business, but we must raise awareness of their skills and increase access to employment.
“Labour is out of government but not out of power, and this is an important way of supporting those who have kept our country safe.”