Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC is asking former Service personnel and their families what more could be done to improve the transition to civilian life for those leaving the Armed Forces.
The peer, who was appointed last year as the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for Veterans’ Transition, is launching a website through which veterans, families, and others with an interest in the area can report their experiences, including problems they have encountered, and make suggestions as to how the process could be improved.
Contributions will be considered as part of Lord Ashcroft’s official review of transition, which will report at the end of 2013.
The review will consider all aspects of transition including employment, health, housing and education. As well as listening to the experiences of individuals, Lord Ashcroft’s team will consult industry, local authorities and government departments, as well as other bodies including Service charities and the Armed Forces themselves. Where necessary, Lord Ashcroft will recommend to the government specific changes of policy or practice.
The work aims to build on the Armed Forces Covenant, which commits the government to ensuring that veterans receive fair and equal treatment and are not disadvantaged as a result of their service to the nation.
Lord Ashcroft said:
“It is very important to me to get a feel for what those going through the process of leaving the Services actually experience. I want to know whether there are gaps between the government’s good intentions and what happens to individuals on the ground.
“We will consult widely, but I also want to hear directly from those who have a view and want to be heard. The experiences of individuals and families who have made the transition from military to civilian life will play an important part in the review, and ultimately, I hope, in ensuring those who have served the country get the support they deserve.”