Scheme to support ex-armed forces in life after service

Coun Ed Malcolm
Coun Ed Malcolm

Ex-service personnel could be in line for a better chance of jobs and homes in South Tyneside.

A guaranteed interview scheme for those applying to work for South Tyneside Council is set to be introduced as part of the local authority’s Armed Forces Community Covenant.

One of the things we are told on a regular basis when ex-service personnel leave the army, is that it’s a big cultural change.

Coun Malcolm

Homes have also been identified to provide a place for those moving from supported accommodation projects into more independent living - with a view to them eventually moving into their own place.

The flats plan will also offer an employment opportunity for an ex-services man or woman in the role of caretaker - backed by a £17,000 contribution from the Ministry of Defence Covenant Scheme.

The latest move is part of a range of measures set to be brought in to help those who have served their country to settle back into civilian life.

The plans were discussed at yesterday’s cabinet meeting.

Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “One of the things we are told on a regular basis when ex-service personnel leave the army is that it’s a big cultural change.

“Some of them have difficulty in adjusting to civilian life. This will hopefully help them to fit back in.”

As part of the guaranteed interview scheme, ex-service personnel who meet the essential criteria for South Tyneside Council vacancies will be fast-tracked to the interview stage.

Coun Malcolm said: “This will provide a stronger opportunity to reach interview stage, where the final candidate, as in all recruitment, will be selected for having demonstrated they are most suited to the role.”

He added: “Organising civic events to mark the work of our armed forces is part of our DNA. It’s an important thing we do as a council.

“But I want to draw your attention to the other schemes the armed forces panel have been doing.

“We have provided the finance to employ an outreach worker who is ex-service and is based within the homefinder office.

“They are a focal point for ex-service personnel who may need assistance when it comes to welfare benefits or being re-housed.”