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Veterans: Education

Volume 663: debated on Monday 8 July 2019

When armed forces personnel put their hand up and decide to leave the armed forces, most of them participate in a transition programme, and that includes the opportunity to complete examinations such as A-levels and GCSEs—or O-levels in our old language—as well as tertiary education. It is very important to give them the best opportunity once they depart into civilian street.

Does my right hon. Friend agree that veterans having better access to education could be of huge benefit to them and upskill them so that they are ready to get back into the workforce? Furthermore, it would help reduce the barriers many veterans face on their return to civilian life.

My right hon. Friend is absolutely right. As the Secretary of State said, one of the advantages of having an armed force is that personnel provide such important skill sets while serving, but they can all be translated back into civilian street. It is important that we make people and society in general aware of the skill sets that are available—grip, tenacity, leadership and determination—and we must also make sure we translate military qualifications into civilian ones, to give personnel the best opportunity in life.