Home » Prime Minister and Veterans’ Minister announce ‘OP PROSPER’ to boost veterans’ employment

Prime Minister and Veterans’ Minister announce ‘OP PROSPER’ to boost veterans’ employment

  • Prime Minister to meet veterans, businesses and charities today to announce dedicated employment support service
  • New funding will support veterans into high-skilled high-paid jobs 
  • The Government commits to making the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran

The Prime Minister will meet veterans and businesses today [Friday] at a Veterans Connect event at a military museum, where he will launch OP PROSPER- a wraparound employment service to support veterans into work after they leave the Armed Forces. 

OP PROSPER will be backed by £2.1 million in new funding. The scheme will support veterans in securing high paid jobs, where they can hone the skills that they developed in the military in key sectors that are helping to boost the economy. This includes areas like cyber and digital, manufacturing, energy and financial and professional services.

Prime Minister Rishi 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.

The Prime Minister will be joined by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny Mercer today, to meet veterans and some of the leading employers of veterans in the UK, including Deloitte, Amazon and Centrica.

Veterans’ employment in the UK is at an all-time high, at 89%, but there is more we can do. OP PROSPER will build on the support already available and will improve awareness of the skills and talents of veterans among industry and employers, to encourage businesses to hire veterans. 

The initiative will also provide wrap-around support to veterans and their families, delivered by experienced employability professionals. This will make sure that they are supported to go straight into new roles or take the next step in their existing career.

In 2022, the Government introduced a 12-month National Insurance relief for employers hiring veterans into their first role after service, which has been extended for another year. This tax incentive gives businesses potential savings of up to £6,200 per employee, while also allowing them to benefit from the fantastic skills and experience that veterans bring.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Johnny 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.

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 has committed to make the UK the best place in the world for veterans, providing an additional £33 million in funding to support veterans over the next three years, with a further £10 million announced in the 2023 Autumn statement for veterans’ healthcare. In 2021, Op Courage was launched as a bespoke mental health support for veterans supported by professionals who are from or have experience of working with the military community, and over 30,000 veterans have used this service to date.

Earlier this year the government launched a new digital service enabling veterans to verify their veteran status and apply for a Veteran Card, streamlining the process to access veteran-specific support.  Since the project launched, almost 100,000 Veteran Cards have been issued. 

The Veteran Card provides veterans with a clear recognition of service, a tangible link to the Armed Forces, and allows them to easily verify their veteran status to access support and services from government, charities, and local authorities.

This government established the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to better coordinate veterans’ policy, bring together and improve our knowledge of veterans, and provide dedicated policy work on veterans. In October last year, the Government launched a consultation to gather views from veterans and intends to publish the first ever draft Veterans Bill outlining how we could legislate to ensure that the progress made in recent years to transform veterans’ care in this country is secured. With the Veterans’ Strategy at its core, this will maintain the momentum on our ambition to make the UK the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Chris Recchia, partner at Deloitte, lead for the firm’s Military Transition and Talent Programme and founder of the VeteransWork Employment Campaign, said: 

At Deloitte, we’ve helped influence over 7,000 veterans’ transition journeys in the last 12 years, whilst helping to evolve the veteran narrative and make the UK the best place to be a veteran. 

There are tangible benefits of having veterans in an organisation and making it a business imperative to do so, as they possess relevant transferrable skills, a positive attitude, resilience and an ability to make culture enhancing contributions not only here at Deloitte, but in the finance and professional services sector and the wider UK workforce.

James Cameron, CEO of Mission Community, said:

We are delighted to have been announced by the Prime Minister as one of the grant-awarded organisations for Op PROSPER leading on the delivery of sector initiatives.  Building on the success of the Armed Forces engagement initiatives in Automotive and in Renewables, we welcome government reinforcement of our strategic work with trade bodies and leading companies making the commercial and social value case for Armed Forces community engagement.  

Since 2019, this top-down approach empowers industry as champions for this cause, helping us create a community of communities, supporting our veterans and their families by positively influencing the kinds of cultures and behaviours they will find within sectors.

Alistair Halliday, Chief Exec, Forces Employment Charity, said: 

We are excited that Op PROSPER supports us in developing and extending our specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment and work in partnership with hundreds of employers who, like us, respect and value the unique qualities and abilities of all those who have served and their families.

Veterans and their families will be able to come to the Forces Employment Charity and receive free 121 support from our specialist career advisors to explore new job opportunities that will enhance success and prosperity for themselves and their families, regardless of their background or where they are based in the UK.

More information

  • If you are interested in developing an Armed Forces Engagement Strategy, or are an industry or professional body, please contact team@missioncommunity.org
  • If you are an employer who would like to learn more about Op PROSPER, please complete the Register your Interest form or email executive@forcesemployment.org.uk with any questions.
  • If you are a veteran or member of the military community and would like to learn more about Op PROSPER please register with Forces Employment Charity or call their Veteran Support Team on 0121 262 3058