Civil service to start trialling guaranteed job interviews for veterans

Cabinet Office says handful of departments will pilot Conservative manifesto pledge, commencing in weeks

Credit: PA

By Jim.Dunton

06 Feb 2020

Former members of the armed services will be guaranteed job interviews for civil service roles they apply for at selected departments starting from this spring, the Cabinet Office has announced.

It said the move would deliver on a promise contained in the Conservative Party’s manifesto for December’s general election and would begin with pilots at the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Home Office – including UK Border Force.

The proposals came as part of a package of measures designed to help former members of the armed services find jobs after their military careers – including National Insurance contribution breaks for employers who hire ex-servicepeople.


The Conservative manifesto pledge on job interviews was not limited to the civil service and simply stated: “We will offer a guaranteed job interview for veterans for any public sector role they apply for.”

According to the latest announcement, there will be no time limit applied to the interview guarantee – meaning that it will be open to all veterans, no matter how long ago their service ended. However the guarantee will only apply to applicants who meet “basic minimum criteria during the selection stage”.

The Cabinet Office said the departments set to trial the job-offer guarantee all believed military veterans could bring the skills and experience they needed and that the programme would ultimately pave the way for many more veterans to secure government roles at all levels.

Cabinet Office minister Oliver Dowden, who has responsibility for the Office for Veterans’ Affairs at cabinet level, said the latest move built on the Going Forward into Employment programme, which last month launched an initiative to help veterans and their spouses into junior civil service roles.

“The end of military service should not mean an end to serving our great country. From teamwork to problem-solving, our veterans have incredible skills and experience that employers on civvy street, and indeed Whitehall, are crying out for,” he said.

“I want to see even more of our ex-servicemen and women join the public sector so we all benefit from their talents. Today we are delivering on another manifesto promise to veterans and guaranteeing interviews for civil service jobs.”

The OVA was set up in July to co-ordinate cross-government work to aid veterans.

Defence minster Johnny Mercer said those who had served in the armed forces were among the “brightest and the best” and it was right that the civil service drew on their talent.

“Service personnel are agile, strategic and excellent team players – a guaranteed interview will shine a light on these skills and help boost job prospects,” he said.

Last month the government announced that the new veterans railcard would be launched in the autumn, providing cheaper train travel to former servicemen and women.

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