The Armed Forces Employability Pathway (AFEP) allows eligible jobseekers to take part in a one-week introductory course to the Armed Forces, followed by specific pre-employment training and work experience with a civilian employer.
Delivered through Job Centre Plus and the Work Programme, 9 AFEP trial schemes across the north of England and Scotland have allowed more than 220 people to take part in team building, problem solving, communications and personal resilience training.
Many of those have gone on to pursue careers in the Regular and Reserve forces, while others have used the skills and confidence gained from the initiative to secure civilian jobs. The scheme will be rolled out across the UK throughout this year.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
A career in the Armed Forces provides a wealth of benefits, and this initiative allows those who may not have considered such a career to get a first hand look at what Service life can offer.
But this is not simply a recruiting tool - the aim is to arm all those who take part with the confidence, skills and contacts to find work. That is why I am delighted that we will be extending this innovative scheme so jobseekers right across the country can benefit.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said:
I know from my own experience the invaluable skills that the Armed Forces can teach you, which is why this Government is helping jobseekers to gain vital experience with the help of the brave men and women serving our country.
Not only will people on this scheme improve their chances of a career in the forces, it will also give them the skills and experience that will impress potential future employers who know that the training they will receive is second to none.
The Department for Work and Pensions recently announced new rules which allow new reservists, who are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, to train for nearly 3 times longer in their first year to help them boost their contribution to the country and make them more employable.