Army veterans 'should be given automatic job interviews if they apply for role'

Coun Ahmed said offering interviews to ex Forces personnel would be a step forward.
Coun Ahmed said offering interviews to ex Forces personnel would be a step forward.

Job interviews should be automatically offered to any former member of the armed forces who applies for a role, acoording to a Wakefield councillor.

Nadeem Ahmed, who leads the opposition Conservative group, said the talents of former servicemen and women were being wasted by society after they leave the military.

Unemployment is higher among army veterans than the rest of the population as a whole.

Unemployment is higher among army veterans than the rest of the population as a whole.

Figures quoted in the Military Times last month showed that the unemployment rate for former forces personnel stands at 3.5 per cent, significantly higher than the rest of the population as a whole.

And Coun Ahmed said that fast-tracking their job applications to the interview process may begin to address that.

Next week, he will call on Wakefield Council to adopt the policy as part of their own recruitment procedures, and encourage private companies across the district to do the same.

Coun Ahmed said: "If someone's in that profession for 30 years and then they come out, they've never had to go the process of doing a job application.

Coun Ahmed has been the leader of the opposition Conservative group in Wakefield since 2015.

Coun Ahmed has been the leader of the opposition Conservative group in Wakefield since 2015.

"If you look at the job vacancies on the council's website, even one for a lunchtime supervisor, there's so much stuff you have to go through, and for people without that experience of job applications it's putting them off.

"I go to Pakistan quite a lot and the military is revered over there. Our military should be revered too and I think this is just one of the little things we can do to show that.

"A few years ago, the Coalition government made it easier for armed forces personnel to get a PGCE and go into teaching and that's worked well.

"I've got a friend who's done that, and I'm sure there's more people out there like him that have a lot to offer."

Coun Ahmed said the policy had sprouted from a fringe meeting at the recent Conservative Party Conference, and was being advanced by local Tory groups across West Yorkshire.

He said the only thing standing in the way of implementing the idea, which he says will make the council more diverse, was "closed mindsets".

The motion will be debated at a full council meeting next Wednesday.

Coun Ahmed's motion in full

This Council notes:

The invaluable contribution made to our community and our country by members of the Armed services, the life and professional skills they gain through military service and our debt to them.

That their service, whilst equipping them with many practical skills, does not always equip them with administrative and literary skills. These skills are needed to satisfy some of today’s initial employment application questionnaires and procedures.

This Council Resolves:

To offer all former service personnel, a guaranteed interview for any job vacancy applied for and we will encourage all of our arms-length partner organisations and the wider Wakefield business community to do the same.

Local Democracy Reporting Service