SFC news published since 2018. See SFC archived content for earlier news articles.

A project to map veterans’ qualifications is underway to help ex-Armed Forces personnel access further and higher education after they leave the military.

The project, which will see veterans’ qualifications mapped on to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF), was established in response to a 2016 report from the Veterans Commissioner on Employability, Skills and Learning of Veterans.

The report recommended investigating whether the current system for translating and mapping veterans’ skills could be simplified, and how it might be better utilised and understood by both veterans themselves and Scottish employers.

SFC has awarded £19,700 to the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework Partnership (SCQFP) to undertake this project, and SCQFP is currently gathering the thoughts of veterans, organisations that support veterans, educational partners and employers to gain their views and experiences.

SCQFP will then outline priorities for discussion at a number of focus groups over October and November 2018. Once agreed, SCQFP will develop simple benchmarking materials veterans can use to articulate their skills and qualifications to prospective employers, and for employers to understand the skills and qualifications gained by veterans. The project is due to be completed in March 2019.

Member of the Reserve Forces and project consultant Barry Henderson said, “Having undergone the resettlement process myself, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to identify and then translate the qualifications that can be gained whilst serving.”

“This ‘language barrier’ when it comes to articulating their skills and qualifications to potential employers is preventing service leavers and veterans from realising their potential. This project will address that by identifying the priorities for future work and achieving some quick wins, to help remove some of these barriers to employment opportunities.”

Michael Cross, SFC’s Interim Director, Access, Skills, & Outcome Agreements said: “The Veterans Commissioner has identified the lack of understanding around veterans’ qualifications as a major barrier for ex-service personnel.”

“This project will address and support important recommendations in the Scottish Veterans Commissioner Report, specifically on improving advice and access to Further and Higher Education for those that leave the military.”

“SFC is pleased to support SCQFP with funding, allowing it to use its expertise to achieve a consistent understanding of veterans’ qualifications across the sector.”

Aileen Ponton, Chief Executive of the SCQFP, said: “We were delighted to be asked by SFC to lead on this piece of work as it is something we have been concerned about for some time. We are pleased with progress so far and with the willingness of all stakeholders and veterans to give us their time to contribute to the discussion and the outcomes.

“Having the SCQF as the central core to all education and training in Scotland does help us to talk a consistent language and we want to help translate some of the military skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications into the language to the benefit of individuals, institutions and employers.”