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Ex-servicemen: Employment Schemes

Volume 473: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will consider introducing a scheme to assist veterans leaving the armed forces to employment on a similar model to the US authorities, Troops to Teachers programme. (191326)

Currently, some 68 service leavers a year already enter a teaching career. Additionally, as a result of an approach by the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, the MOD has been working for the past year, initially with the trust but latterly with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), on a scheme to encourage more service leavers to take up a career in secondary level specialist teaching in science, maths and IT subjects as a contribution to addressing the national shortage in secondary level STEM subject teachers. Apart from advertising through the Career Transition Partnership opportunities for individuals to consider teaching and outlining the existing routes into the profession, we are looking to develop routes to attract suitable service leavers to become teachers who do not already possess the academic qualifications normally necessary to enter teacher training. This work is a still at an early stage.

The MOD is an active participant in the recently launched wider DCSF Transition to Teaching initiative to encourage career changers into the teaching profession, and is represented on the Steering Committee alongside such blue chip employers as IBM, KPMG, Thales, Astra Zenica and Lockheed Martin Aerospace. Most service leavers are very successful in securing civilian employment: about 95 per cent. of those using the Career Transition Partnership who wish to continue to work are in new careers within six months of discharge from the armed forces.

In view of the initiatives already in hand, the Department has no plans to adopt the US Troops to Teachers programme.