In 2019, the Government announced plans to employ 100 specialist advisers – or ‘Armed Forces Champions’ – in job centres across the country. But Ministers now admit that just half that number will be hired.
The change means that there will be just one Armed Forces Champion to support every 14,000 working age veterans into employment. And a single specialist adviser could be set to cover all job centres in Lancashire.
The unemployment rate for veterans is seven per cent, almost double the level for the general population at 4.8 per cent.
In West Lancashire area alone, there are 1,674 working age veterans.
Ministers have faced criticism from Labour and Service charities that their Armed Forces Bill doesn’t provide any further assistance to Forces personnel, veterans and their families to gain employment. The Government told its MPs to vote against a Labour amendment to widen the scope of the Bill at Report Stage to include provisions to support veterans into work.
Ms Cooper said: “It is clear that Forces personnel, veterans and their families in West Lancashire need more support to find work yet the Government have broken their pledge to provide specialist advice.
“This is yet another example of Ministers failing to match their words with action.
“I will continue to work with and support veterans and veterans groups in West Lancashire.”