Neath Port Talbot Council has launched a new scheme that will guarantee veterans of the armed forces an interview when they apply for a job with the council.
The Guaranteed Interview Scheme will ensure veterans are given an interview, provided that they meet the relevant criteria for the post and are within 12 weeks of their discharge date or have the armed forces as their last long-term employer.
The purpose of the scheme is to help veterans overcome the barriers they face when accessing employment once they have left the military. Veterans can often find making the transition to civilian life extremely challenging, particularly in finding and securing long-term employment.
Army veteran Adam Al-fahdala, a Senior Structures Technician with the South Wales Trunk Road Agency, said:
“In 2012 I left the Army and was looking for a job in Civvy Street. I applied for a Civil Engineering Apprenticeship with the council, but only having limited computer time during my Army career, who also taught me to be a bit of a perfectionist, I spent a lot of time on the application and found it difficult.
“Luckily, someone recognised that a person who had left the forces could have something special to offer, and I was invited for interview.
“The interviewers put me at ease and wanted to know about my experience within the army, from which they extracted the important skills I had gained that would be useful in the role. At the time I had never thought of the skills and experience I had gained in the Army, such as team work and working under pressure, in that way.
“I have now been a council employee for 8 years and moved up the ladder into an exciting role where I am both site and office based.”
Councillor Chris James, Armed Forces Champion, added:
“As the Armed Forces Champion for the council I have seen first-hand the challenges that many of our service personnel face when leaving the armed forces, whichever of the services and whatever their rank.
“Being a veteran of the Navy myself I know how daunting it can be to apply the vast range of skills you learn in the services, such as attention to detail, presentation, timeliness, health and safety to name a few, and try to imagine how these can be demonstrated to a new employer in the civilian world.
“The opportunity that the council is now offering to our service leavers will help to even the playing field for those leaving the services after a long and distinguished career, and who may feel a little uneasy in a competitive jobs market, especially as many would have never completed a CV or undergone a formal job interview.”
The council’s Recruitment and Selection Policy will be amended to reflect the scheme, giving veterans an opportunity indicate that they are eligible for a guaranteed interview on the application form.
The implementation of the scheme is in response to a cross-party recommendation from the National Assembly for Wales. It is also in line with the council’s Armed Forces Covenant, which aims to encourage a greater public understanding and awareness of the issues affecting veterans.