Research, Armed Forces charities research

Focus On: Armed Forces Charities' Education and Employment Provision

DSC explore the relatively small number of charities providing education and employment support to the armed forces community.

What is the purpose of the report?

Military service provides many with training, skills, experience and useful employment. But it may also involve foregoing career advancement or opportunities for educational achievement.

Armed forces charities play a pivotal role in helping ex-Service personnel and their families access education and employment support. Yet, prior to DSC’s research, little data had been gathered on these charities. This report provides, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of the subsector of armed forces charities making education and employment provision.

What does it cover?

As part of the Focus On series, this report provides more specific analysis of the work of armed forces charities across the UK – in this case, armed forces charities providing support with education and employment.

In this report, we use the term ‘education’ or ‘training’ interchangeably to refer to the advancement of knowledge or skills. It encompasses a wide range of learning methods, undertaken in a variety of settings and institutions, across different skill levels – from basic literacy skills, to higher education, to vocational courses and independent living skills. Meanwhile, ‘employment’ is taken to include paid work, as well as paid or voluntary work placements and work experience.

The report aims to provide the reader with:

  • Analysis of qualifications supported and services provided for education
  • Exploration of employment support offered by charities
  • Assessment of expenditure on education and employment provision
  • Collaboration, evaluation and standards of practice
  • Insights into the beneficiary population

In addition, the report includes several case studies to demonstrate the work undertaken to provide education and employment support.

Who is it for?

This is a unique resource for charities, practitioners, government, policymakers and researchers to understand what armed forces charities do to support members of the armed forces community with education and employment.

What did we find?

  • There are 78 armed forces charities providing education support, of which 59 also provide employment support.
  • Armed forces charities provided education and employment support to at least 35,800 beneficiaries and spent at least £25.6 million in the year prior to data collection.
  • Armed forces charities offer a wide range of education and employment services, many of which supported mainstream qualifications.
  • Accreditation was rare: 70% of charities reported training programmes were not accredited and 68.4% said staff members were not accredited.

What did people say?

Ray Lock CBE, Chief Executive Forces in Mind Trust: ‘FiMT was established to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful and sustainable transition to civilian life. It does this by funding reports, such as this Focus On series which provides independent, evidence-based knowledge that can be used to influence and bring about change where needed, from policy through to service delivery. The clearly detailed evidence in this report offers an important and unique insight into the education and employment support provided by the Armed Forces charity sector across the UK.’


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