We talk to SORTED! development manager Graham Liley on why he wants the new employment consortium to become a household name for the Armed Forces community.
How did the idea for a new employment service come about? Why is it important?
SORTED! is not a new employment service but a consortium of already established employability charities who have joined forces to provide a more seamless, structured and collaborative support to beneficiaries.
For the majority of the Armed Forces Community, and society as a whole, appropriate employment through to retirement is a core constituent of a rewarding and fulfilling life. Supporting individuals to make a successful transition out of the Armed Forces and remain in appropriate sustainable employment is a form of preventative welfare. We also want to extend this to include spouse/dependants and Reservists/Ex-Reservists with a primary focus on those not entitled to MOD resettlement, and former-Service personnel, including those with a medical or health condition that may be a barrier to employment.
What gaps do you think there are in the current process for ex-Service personnel, in terms of finding employment?
Identifying gaps, particularly in the more complex cases, is one of SORTED!’s main objectives – this will be achieved through mapping processes and assessing the needs of the beneficiary as they journey through SORTED! (both its constituent members and approved associates).
What will set it apart from other consortiums?
SORTED! is an umbrella brand of seven constituent members who already provide employability support to the Armed Forces community.
The seven charities have agreed to work together under this umbrella brand – this will enable them to integrate services, avoid duplication and share expertise for the benefit of the Armed Forces community who access any of the organisations for support.
As charities, they have excellent links and associations with specialist organisations, Service and civilian, (in particular the Recovery Career Service) so that every member of the Armed Forces has the chance of good care, first class employment advice and a fair opportunity to gain the jobs they deserve.
What do you hope Sorted! will achieve? What are your hopes and aims?
SORTED! was launched on the 23rd September 2013. The next twelve months will see significant development around the relevant employability needs of the beneficiaries and the expectations of its seven constituent members. There is also a great deal of work to achieve surrounding an appropriate associate programme, ensuring that SORTED!’s associates are relevant, fulfil a set criteria and add value to SORTED! as a whole.
The principal aim is for SORTED! to become a household name for all of the Armed Forces Community, both past and present (including spouses, dependants and partners) who are seeking employment. SORTED! is a door to seven employability charities that will incorporate cross-referrals between constituent members and approved associates. This will ensure that the beneficiary is seamlessly signposted, only tells their story once and does not fall between the cracks – any individuals who may have fallen through the cracks in the past will be identified early on and guided to the appropriate support.
SORTED! is a consortium of charitable support within the field of employment, offering a single focus and appropriate advice and referrals for the Armed Forces community past and present. The consortium has been jointly developed by seven Service charities, all of whom currently provide different tailored services within the employment support arena. SORTED! members include The Royal British Legion (TRBL), Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), the Poppy Factory, the Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA), the Officers’ Association (OA), the Officers’ Association Scotland and Poppyscotland.