RFEA launches new initiative to support military communities

Veterans, their partners and spouses, and children will be offered specialist support as part of plans to lead economic recovery in the M3 region by growing a skilled population in digital enterprises (including medical technology and gaming), sustainable construction and low carbon, and space and satellite industries.

This help comes as part of an exciting new initiative created by Enterprise M3 Initiative (EM3) and funded by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) with the European Social Fund.

RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity is the chosen delivery partner for the exciting new project with the Local Enterprise Partnership. It will provide support in areas that correspond to the route of the M3 motorway, which includes nine Military Bases, predominantly army, and an estimated 26,370 military and civilian personal working at those bases. The main areas covered include Aldershot, Winchester, Salisbury, Andover, Pirbright and Sandhurst.

A combination of practical employment support, accredited training, corporate mentoring, and work experience is offered to participants to provide the best possible routes to accessing sustainable employment in emerging technologies and peripheral sectors.

To deliver the programme to offer the best opportunities and outcomes for participants, RFEA will work with a range of partners. These include Building Heroes, TechVets, University of Winchester and X-Forces.

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive of RFEA says, “The skills needed for a career in the Armed Forces make ex-Servicemen and women an incredible addition to the civilian workforce, but veterans, as well as their families, can face a unique set of challenges that can sometimes make it difficult to fully make the most of their potential. We fully understand that at RFEA, which is why we are committed to supporting ex-Forces, and their loved ones, to find long-term, meaningful jobs outside of the military. We have an outstanding track record of providing excellent 1-1 support to our clients, to ensure they have everything they need to showcase the value and relevance of their experience to civilian employers. By doing so, we bring about life-changing transformations for thousands of veterans, and their families, every year. We are extremely excited to have been selected as the delivery partner for the EM3 project and grateful to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) with the European Social Fund for their generous funding. We are looking forward to working with some fantastic partners to make a big impact with this next phase of our work.”

Karen Jefford, Chief Operation Officer from Building Heroes adds, “We provide Military veterans and their families with a unique opportunity to rapidly train and gain recognised qualifications for a new career in construction. With our dedicated support, we ensure our beneficiaries have a much higher chance of success leading to positive outcomes and progression in employment, self-employment, or further training. By working with RFEA on the EM3 project, we are really looking forward to driving sustainable construction and low carbon to pave the way for future generations.”

James Murphy, Director of TechVets, comments, “As a veteran who made the move into a digital career myself, I know just how fulfilling the industry can be. I am delighted to be working on this new initiative to help other ex-Servicemen and women, as well as their loved ones, realise their potential in this area.”

Stella McKnight, Dean of Apprenticeships and Director for Help to Grow Management from the University of Winchester, says “An ability to learn and be trained are essential components of a Military career, so we are thrilled to be joining this project with RFEA to support the continued learning of veterans and their families as they embark on the next stage of their career journey. The University of Winchester is widely recognised for its commitment to being an Armed Forces-friendly employer, and our support of the wider forces community and of the families of military personnel, so this is a fantastic opportunity to share our expertise.”

Martin Wing, executive Chairman for X-Forces Enterprise concludes, “The Military community has so much to offer to the commercial world of work and careers are often multifaceted. We can’t wait to get started to help those individuals understand the self-employment landscape and the opportunities they can take advantage of to shine!”

For more information about EM3 visit: rfea.org.uk/our-programmes-partnerships/em3/

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