The announcement in last week’s Queens Speech that the government has made a promise to incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law is another great step forward in recognising the vital contribution made by the UK’s military community.

At Landmarc, we were an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant; publicly declaring our commitment to those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, alongside our respect and gratitude to our military community.  The Covenant was designed to ‘mitigate disadvantage from service for our armed forces and their families’ and ensures that both serving and ex-military personnel, reservists, veterans and their families are treated fairly and are given the support they need to flourish in civilian life.

20 years on from its launch, while prospects have improved for many ex-military staff, it is still the case that veterans face particular challenges in finding long-term and meaningful employment opportunities, further highlighting the need for more organisations to sign up to the Covenant and commit their full support.

For example, according to the government’s Careers Transition Partnership’s latest annual statistics published in January, ‘employment rates for 2019/20 service leavers (84%) was significantly lower than for 2018/19 service leavers (86%). However, when looking at quarterly trends, it was likely due to the economic effects of COVID-19 and the reduction in employment availability, in particular for those aged under 25, meaning that the past year has been a particularly challenging time for our ex forces.

Mark Neill, our managing director and also an Army veteran says, “Transitioning into civilian life and finding meaningful employment can be really difficult for some veterans, especially as some employers fail to recognise the true value of the skills they have gained from their time in the military environment.

“At Landmarc, over 25 per cent of our workforce is made up of veterans and reservists who all bring a specialist mix of niche skills and expertise gained from their time in the forces, which is hugely valuable to our management of the UK Defence Training Estate.

“We have also committed to the government’s guaranteed interview scheme for veterans; ensuring that all ex-service personnel that have the appropriate skills and experience for the role are offered an interview, and we use our levy fund to offer apprenticeship opportunities to our employees to help formalise these valuable skills into civilian qualifications.

“We wholeheartedly support the government’s aim to build upon these positive commitments and incorporate the Covenant into law, to help mitigate any disadvantage faced by our armed forces community due to the unique nature of military service.”

To find out your organisation can pledge its support to the Armed Forces community, contact visit www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk.