New project to understand the transition experiences for today’s ex-Service personnel
RAND Europe is delighted that Forces in Mind Trust has awarded £407,000 to QinetiQ and RAND Europe for a 24-month project to examine the contemporary transition challenges of personnel and families.
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The project will explore what the transition process looks like for the Armed Forces Community today, whether the support provided is sufficient, and what more could be done to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful transition into civilian life.
This project will seek to understand the impact on transition of both changes in how the Armed Forces serve and are employed, as well as changes within wider society.
Significant progress has been made in transition in the past decade to better support Service leavers and their families in their transition to civilian life. This has included a continuously enhanced offer from the Career Transition Partnership, re-settlement provision for Early Service Leavers, the creation of the Defence Transition Service as part of the MOD’s Holistic Defence Transition Policy, the introduction of the Veteran’s Gateway and the establishment of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs.
Despite this progress, research shows that a small number of Service leavers can still struggle and do not transition successfully to civilian life, facing significant challenges for some time after their service.
The new funding will seek to address this by examining what the transition process looks like for the Armed Forces Community today, evaluating whether changes that have been made have reached the correct audience and are having the intended impact. Moreover, the project will identify what more can be done to enable ex-Service personnel and their families to make a successful transition into civilian life in the face of contemporary shifts and challenges within society at large.
The researchers will tackle the transition process for each of the three services, as well as examining how transition is communicated to Service personnel leaving the Armed Forces. By engaging stakeholders, veterans, and families, the project will construct a picture of the modern experience of transition and where the system is succeeding, and where difficulties endure.
This assessment of current transition experiences will be an essential tool in making successful policy and planning decisions to shape the future of transition, that reflect how Service life is changing in the modern era.
Natalie Fisher, Principal Occupational Psychologist at QinetiQ said:
“I am excited to be leading this seminal piece of research alongside colleagues at RAND Europe. Whilst it is evident that significant progress has been made over the last decade to better support Service leavers and their families to transition into civilian life, research shows that challenges remain. The aim of this study is to understand what challenges persist, the potential impact of not addressing those challenges and where support could be improved, and how.”
Michelle Alston, Chief Executive of Forces in Mind Trust said:
“Despite the work to improve the process of transitioning from the Armed Forces, there are still a number of ex-Service personnel and families that struggle to transition to civilian life and are left disadvantaged by their time in Service. Understanding their experience of their journey through transition is key to ensuring that veterans and their families are able to live fulfilling civilian lives.”