Rishi Sunak launching employment plan to help veterans secure high-paid jobs

Op Prosper aims to support veterans into work after they leave the armed forces

Op Prosper is part of the Government’s plan to make the UK ‘the best place in the world to be a veteran’
Op Prosper is part of the Government’s plan to make the UK ‘the best place in the world to be a veteran’ (Ben Birchall/PA)

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is launching an employment plan which pledges to help veterans secure high-paid jobs after they leave the armed forces.

Op Prosper aims to support veterans into work where they can use the skills they developed in the military.

The scheme is part of the Government’s plan to make the UK “the best place in the world to be a veteran” and will be backed by £2.1 million in new funding.

Mr Sunak said: “The courageous men and women who have served in our armed forces represent the very best of our country and we must serve them as well as they have served us.

“They deserve our full support to thrive in civilian life and to continue contributing their incredible skills to the prosperity of our country.

“That is why I am proud to announce Op Prosper, which will support veterans in securing high-skilled roles in key sectors that are helping to grow the economy.”

On Friday, Mr Sunak and veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer are meeting veterans and employers at a Veterans Connect event to discuss the employment support.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak (Carl Recine/PA)

The scheme will encourage businesses to hire veterans in areas such as cyber, digital, manufacturing, energy and financial and professional services.

A range of support will be offered to veterans and their families, delivered by employability professionals who will make sure they are supported to go straight into new roles or take the next step in their existing career.

Mr Mercer said: “Our veterans leave the military with an abundance of skills, and the tenacity and drive to continue achieving greatness.

“But for too long, too many have ended up in jobs that don’t fully harness their talents and abilities. That is why we’re introducing Op Prosper.

Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer (Peter Byrne/PA)

“By connecting veterans with employers, engaging industry bodies on the importance of hiring veterans, and strengthening their qualifications and skills, this Government will ensure more ex-servicemen and women are securing high-quality and fulfilling employment.

“Hiring a veteran is one of the best business decisions a company can make, and Op Prosper will help ensure this is realised by all employers across the country.”

The Government said veteran employment in the UK is at an all-time high at 89%, but added “there is more we can do”.

Steve McCabe MP, Labour’s shadow veterans minister, said the announcement was a “step in the right direction” but the Government had “failed” veterans.

He said: “Let’s not forget it is the Conservatives that halved employment support for veterans and have failed armed forces communities for the last 14 years.

“Ministers have overseen a rise in veterans’ homelessness, repeatedly failed to roll out veterans ID cards, and tens of thousands of veterans are now relying on universal credit just to get by during a cost-of-living crisis.

“Labour is deeply proud of our armed forces personnel, veterans, and their families. In government, we will renew the nation’s contract with those who serve and fully incorporate the Armed Forces Covenant into law.”

More than 30,000 veterans have used mental health support scheme Op Courage since its launch in 2021.