VETERAN Justin Heath has shown his support for a scheme that helps injured ex-servicemen and women find work.
The 32-year-old from Gosport was helped through charity The Poppy Factory to find a job as a fundraiser with Alabaré Homes for veterans.
Mr Heath, a former medic in the Royal Navy who was medically discharged with a sleep disorder, said: ‘This was the first time since leaving the navy that I could ground myself and settle into civilian life. The job put me on the next level up on the playing field.
‘This is crucial in my career development. It has given me a proper step on the ladder. I’ve got a lot of skills and I’m starting to believe that now.’
The charity has launched The Employer Toolkit, funded by Forces in Mind Trust, to give advice and guidance to employers about recruiting veterans. It aims to dispel the negative stereotypes of veterans and the problems they face.
The trust found that veterans can sometimes be overlooked by employers, who may find it hard to understand how military experience translates across to civilian job roles.
It says there are misconceptions about mental health, with employers wary of taking on veterans because of perceived issues around the traumas they may have suffered during their time in the forces.
Meri Mayhew, deputy chief executive of the Forces in Mind Trust, said: ‘Wounded, injured and sick ex-servicemen and women have a great deal to contribute, with many bringing unique yet transferable skills and experiences to their workplaces.
‘Employment does not just help veterans make successful transition to civilian life but actively benefits employers as well.
‘Understanding how best to approach the individual needs of ex-service personnel in workplace requires relatively little effort but can generate great outcomes not just for the individual, but also for the employer.’
The toolkit is divided into 10 sections which cover everything about employing veterans, such as mental health in the workplace, law and how to provide in-work support.
The toolkit is available at poppyfactory.org/employers-toolkit