THE FUTURE HORIZONS PROGRAMME
Early Service Leavers ( ESL’s ) are being given help resettling into civilian life under a new programme, made up of A consortium of ex-service charities, welfare to work organisations and other partners, led by the RFEA, backed by the MoD. Based in Catterick, the Future Horizons Programme was launched in January 2012, and targets those servicemen and women who are discharged from the Army, either compulsorily or at their own request, before completing four years of service.
The programme provides a comprehensive transition programme which helps ESLs find and remain in employment. It is based on a needs assessment and offers access to the required training, personal development and educational courses to overcome barriers to work and ensure individuals are moving towards being ‘job ready’ once discharged from the service. The programme also tracks and evaluates the individual’s journey through the programme, to measure their success, and the success of the scheme.
The programme offers:
- A pre-discharge interview to identify an individual’s transitional needs, skills and strengths, assess vulnerability and start to develop a personal development action plan;
- Referral at any time to the appropriate service or other charities for those with welfare or other immediate specialist needs; · Extensive employment support and job-finding assistance;
- The services of a locally assigned personal consultant to provide advice, guidance and mentoring if required;
- Access to a comprehensive range of life skills, vocational training and education courses, to address specific needs and obstacles to gaining suitable employment;
- A central help desk to provide advice, refer individuals to the most appropriate level of the programme, and then track their journey to employment;
- A web portal which links into other web based services aimed at supporting service veterans for life.
Darren Bickerstaffe, the Programme Manager, says “ the programme is proving very popular with around 95% of ESL’s signing up for the programme so far. The range of organisations we have in the partnership means we can offer individuals the range of support they require and assist individuals in making a successful transition back into civilian life”.
The trial is due to run for 12 months, further updates will be provided throughout the year