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Help with training and qualifications for people leaving the Armed Forces and veterans

About this information

This information applies to:

  • people who used to serve in the Armed Forces (veterans)
  • people who are leaving the Armed Forces.

If you are leaving the Armed Forces, or are a veteran, you may be thinking about doing a course to get more qualifications and skills to help you find a job.

There is a lot of information and advice available for you, to help you find the right course. You might also be able to get funding, to help with the costs of the course.

Help from the Royal British Legion

You can get advice and funding for qualifications and skills to help you get a job from the Royal British Legion (RBL). In Scotland, the RBL works with Poppyscotland

The RBL has advice available online and on the phone to help you get the right qualifications and skills. You can find more information on the Civvy Street website at: www.civvystreet.org.

You can also get advice from Civvy Street by contacting them:

Helpline: 0800 169 4073
Email: info@civvystreet.org.

Royal British Legion Employment Support Grant Scheme

The RBL also has an Employment Support Grant Scheme. To get help from this scheme you must be:

  • no longer serving in the Armed Forces
  • unemployed or getting Income Support or another means-tested benefit
  • unable to pay for the course yourself and have no access to other funding options.

You can find more information about this scheme on the Civvy Street website at www.civvystreet.org.

Royal British Legion Industries

If you're leaving the Armed Forces, or you're a veteran, you may be able to get free advice and information on finding work and training through the Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) LifeWorks scheme.

Their contact details are:

Helpline: 0800 319 6844
Email: lifeworks@rbli.co.uk  

Royal British Legion Be the Boss service

If you're leaving the Armed Forces, or you're a veteran, you may be able to get help in planning and funding your own small business from the RBL.

The Be the Boss service offers:

  • training in setting up a small business
  • help with writing a business plan and financial forecast
  • funding to help with the launch or growth of the business
  • health checks and business mentoring from time to time.

You can find more information about this service by contacting them:

Be the Boss helpline: 0800 678 5787
Email: betheboss@civvystreet.org.uk
Website: www.civvystreet.org.

Help from Poppyscotland – Scotland

If you're leaving the Armed Forces, or you're a veteran, you may be able to get help from Poppyscotland with training grants to help you retrain or learn a specific skill, or workshops with practical ways to help you find work, including starting your own business. Some courses are delivered by the Royal British Legion.

There is more information about these services in the employment leaflet on the Poppyscotland website at www.poppyscotland.org.uk, or you can contact them at:

Poppyscotland
New Haig House
Logie Green Road
Edinburgh
EH7 4HQ

Tel: 0131 557 2782
Email: gethelp@poppyscotland.org.uk

Funding for further and higher education

If you are leaving the Armed Forces, or are a veteran, you may be able to take a level three learning qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the equivalent level of qualification in Scotland, or a degree, without having to pay tuition fees.

A level three qualification in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is two A levels, or an equivalent vocational course.

You have to meet certain conditions to take part in the scheme. These include that you must have:

  • left the Armed Forces on or after 17 July 2008
  • completed six years full time service in the Armed Forces
  • already been part of the Enhanced Learning Credit scheme for at least four years.

You can find out more information about this scheme and the courses you can do on the Courses4Forces website at: www.courses4forces.co.uk.

Further help

More information for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families on Adviceguide

For more financial information, see Benefits and concessions for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more health information, see Healthcare for people injured in the Armed Forces and veterans.

For more housing information, see Housing options for people leaving the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more pensions information, see Pension and compensation schemes for the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

For more information about adult learning, see Adult education: organisations which give information and advice.

For more information about help with the costs of learning in Scotland, see Scottish Government guide to helping you meet the costs of learning.

For more information about further education in Scotland, see Education in Scotland: Further and higher education - courses available at Scottish colleges and universities.

Other organisations

Royal British Legion

You can find more information on learning, employment and general help on civilian life on the Royal British Legion's Civvy Street website at: www.civvystreet.org.

You can also get advice from Civvy Street by contacting them:

Helpline: 0800 169 4073
Email: info@civvystreet.org.

Veterans UK

Veterans UK, which is an Agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), is the sole Government-funded source of help and advice for veterans. Its website has a lot of useful information for veterans and their families, including on welfare support and other specialist support programmes that are available to veterans. It also provides links to many other veterans organisations.

Veterans UK also runs a free helpline for veterans, which gives advice on many topics.

The contact details of Veterans UK are:

Veterans UK
Ministry of Defence
Norcross
Thornton Cleveleys
Lancashire
FY5 3WP

Veterans Helpline: 0808 1914218
Bereavement and textphone line: 0800 169 3458
Email: veterans-uk@mod.uk
Website: www.veterans-uk.info

Armed Services Advice Project – Scotland

The Armed Services Advice Project (ASAP) offers free, confidential, impartial information, advice and support on a wide range of subjects to the Armed Forces Community in Scotland. This community includes people who are serving, those who have served (whether regular or reserve), and their dependants and members of the Merchant Navy (and their dependants) who served in a commercial vessel in support of certain UK military operations.

ASAP is part of the Scottish CAB service. To get in touch you can:

  • call the ASAP helpline on 0808 800 1007 
  • visit the ASAP website at www.asapadvice.org.uk for more information about the service
  • ask ASAP to call you. You can use the form on the website to send ASAP your contact details, and a trained adviser will get in touch
  • visit your local bureau. More information about how to find your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by email, is on our Get advice page.
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