Making the most of resettlement and transition
by Michelle Copson Regional Resettlement Ofﬁcer North West and Midlands
Taking those ﬁrst steps into resettlement can be a daunting task for many; What transferable skills do I have? Will I get a job in civvie street? I don’t have a CV, we need to ﬁnd a new home for our family, and my pension is so confusing. These are just a few of the many concerns that Service Leavers and their families face.
As a Service Leaver, your key point of contact will be your Regional Resettlement Ofﬁcer (RRO). I am the RRO for the North West and Midlands and my colleagues and I are based in varying locations across the country. We can be easily accessed via your unit Learning Centre, although if we are not based on your unit then you will ﬁnd we have a visit schedule and can be contacted via email. It should be noted that although most of the direct support is focused on the service leaver,a number of brieﬁngs are available to spouses. More about this later…
The ﬁrst step is booking in for your mandatory resettlement brieﬁng, here your resettlement ofﬁcer explains all you need to know and ensures you are registered for resettlement on JPA. Doing this as soon as possible is in your own best interest. Many of you will have two years left in service but believe me that will soon pass! So let’s get started.
Once registered, this is when you can start to plan your future career or retirement path. The MOD are in partnership with an external organisation, Right Management Ltd, together known as the Career Transition Partnership (CTP); Even if resettlement is not for you just yet, their website has some useful information relating to courses, workshops, brieﬁngs and webinars, CV and interview techniques. Just follow this link which predominantly has open access.
Additionally you get access to a personal career consultant who will support you through your resettlement period, and up to two years after leaving; they are fully trained employment consultants on hand to guide you as needed. You will also get access to their job ﬁnding service ‘Rightjob’. More and more companies are advertising via Rightjob as they know you have the transferable skills, qualiﬁcations and ethos they are looking for, you will have access to this right up to state retirement age too. The CTP also arranges ‘Employment Fairs’ a fantastic opportunity to chat to potential employers and do some all- important networking.
The full resettlement package for those who have served six years or more, or being medically discharged, consists of Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT), these are the duty days you can use for training, work attachments or individual resettlement provision, so if you have an interview or want to visit a potential employer you can.
You will also be entitled to travel warrants (listed in table below).
|Years Service||Normal Discharge||Medical Discharge|
You will also be entitled to a resettlement grant of £534.00 (IRTC) to spend on training, this can be combined with your Standard or Enhanced Learning credits. elcas.co.uk
Career Transition Workshops (CTW)
As well as this there are free workshops you can attend, Career Transition Workshop (CTW) is a three day event looking at transferable skills, CV, interview techniques and a 1 to 1 brieﬁng with your career consultant; alternatively if this is not what you’re looking for and you plan on retirement or self-employment, there are separate workshops in lieu of the CTW.
There is also the Financial Advisory Brief (FAR) where you can attend a presentation from the Forces Pension Society, who cover Armed Forces Pension 1975, 2005 and 2015, an opportunity to ask those all-important pension questions. In the afternoon there’s a brieﬁng from an independent ﬁnancial advisor giving you an overview on the current climate and investments.
Where to live
There is also a Housing Brief you can attend, this gives advice from the Joint Service Housing Advice Ofﬁce (JSHAO), covering housing from social to charities providing service leavers with housing support, to getting on the property ladder, help to buy schemes (Forces and Government) or if you own a property and wish to purchase more, this is place to ﬁnd out. There is also an independent ﬁnancial advisor giving advice and guidance. Your spouse or partner can attend both the ﬁnance and housing brieﬁngs with you.
So what happens if you’ve not served for six years or more and are not being discharged medically? Don’t worry, there is support for everyone; if you have served for less than four years, you will be entitled to Opt-In to the Future Horizons Programme, here you will be given as much support as you require in job ﬁnding and CV preparation. You can read more about this on the CTP website.
If you have served between four and six years, you are still required to attend a mandatory brief with your resettlement ofﬁcer, who will explain you are entitled to attend a full day’s workshop with the CTP to help with CV, interview techniques and job search. Details can be found on the CTP link.
If you are leaving due to a medical discharge, your unit welfare team will support you through the process and encourage early engagement with your resettlement ofﬁcer, you will be offered mandatory recovery courses as well as the full resettlement package (see table). You may also be referred for extra support from the CTP.
It may also be worth looking into what courses are offered locally on your units, via Force Development Squadrons and also joining social media pages for your ‘Hive’ will keep families updated on any courses they provide.
Here are a few useful organisations and links that will also support your transition: