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Our plans to help make the Welsh Government a Great Place to Work for Veterans.

First published:
7 November 2020
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

In 2018 the UK Government published the first ever Strategy for our Veterans and followed this up in 2020 with the Veterans Strategy Action Plan which set out the first steps the UK Government is taking to achieve its ambition of making the United Kingdom the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. Making the Civil Service a Great Place to Work for Veterans is just one part of achieving this ambition.

Consultations took place across all parts of the UK to support delivery of the strategy. The Welsh Government Veterans Scoping Exercise was our contribution to this work. The findings were published in January 2020.

There are around 2.2 million Armed Forces Veterans in the United Kingdom with approximately 295,000 residing in Wales.  Every year around 15,000 people leave the Armed Forces. Around 60% of them are under 35 with most seeking to take up a new career or job opportunities in civilian employment. The Welsh Government is committed to maximising the support and recognition for veterans in society. This includes those aspects and opportunities, such as employment in high quality jobs, which help them to flourish and successfully make the transition from life in the Armed Forces to civilian employment. Veterans also bring with them unique skills and experience and many of the values which the Civil Service also thrives on; a commitment to public service, team work, inclusion, creativity and drive.

The Welsh Government recognises that good quality employment is a key factor for Service leavers and veterans to have a successful transition back to civilian life, and contribute to the communities in which they settle.  To support Service leavers and veterans to find employment the Welsh Government published an Employment Pathway and Employers’ Toolkit in 2018.

A Great Place to Work

In February 2020, the UK Government announced the introduction of a new initiative to make the Civil Service ‘A Great Place to Work for Veterans’. Many veterans already work in the Civil Service and contribute a huge amount to the organisation, and this initiative aims to encourage more veterans to take this step. These new measures are focused on roles at all grades, functions and professions across the Civil Service.

Initially, the scheme will go through an early adopter phase in four early adopter departments: the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the Home Office (including Border Force). This Early Adopter phase will allow the Civil Service to conduct user testing (including research) of recruitment solutions, ensure the experience for veterans, recruiters and managers is a positive one and help evolve the scheme so that it can be successfully rolled out across the Civil Service.

The Welsh Government and the ‘Great Place to Work for Veterans’ initiative

In November 2020, the Welsh Government announced that they would also be joining the other early adopter departments and introducing the ‘Great Place to Work for Veterans’ initiative. 

As a result veterans who meet the minimum criteria for a role will progress to the next stage of selection. In most cases this will be an interview, but depending on the vacancy it may be another method of selection such as an online test or an assessment centre.

From Monday 9th of November, all externally advertised roles will be selected for the initiative, and can be either temporary or permanent, and at any grade.


To be eligible for this scheme in the Civil Service, you must:

  • have served for at least one year in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (as a Regular or Reserve); this includes time spent training
  • be in transition from, or ceased to be a member of, HM Armed Forces
  • not already be a civil servant, or be employed by a Civil Service Commission accredited public body

There is no maximum time limit from when you left HM Armed Forces to be eligible for this initiative.

Using the initiative

When you apply for a role through the Welsh Government's online application system, you will be prompted to enter whether you are eligible for the Great Place to Work Initiative and whether you would like to apply for the role through this route.

Please note that during pre-employment checks for a role in the Civil Service, your employment history will be checked. An attempt to use this initiative fraudulently may result in your application being terminated.

Minimum standard

In order to use the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative, you must also meet the minimum standard for the role you would like to apply for.

The minimum standard is the combination of experience, behaviours, strengths, abilities and technical/professional skills that a candidate will need to perform effectively in the role.

The minimum standard will be clearly set out in the job vacancy or the candidate information pack. If you are unsure what the minimum standard is, you should contact the recruitment manager for the role.

Multiple stage recruitment

For some jobs, candidates will go through multiple stages, such as online tests, paper sifts, assessment days and interviews.

If the application process for a role has multiple stages, the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative can be applied at each stage, but it will only move the applicant along one stage, and only if they meet the minimum standard at each stage.

High-volume recruitment

It may not always be practicable or appropriate to interview all veterans who meet the minimum criteria for the job. For example, in high-volume recruitment, the employer may wish to limit the overall number of interviews by selecting the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria for the job rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria.

In these circumstances, organisations can select the candidates who best meet the minimum criteria for the job rather than all of those that meet the minimum criteria.

Working in the Civil Service

Many veterans already work in the Civil Service and make a fantastic contribution to it. The Great Place to Work initiative will add to existing entry and experience routes for veterans to join the Civil Service operated by some Departments and the Going Forward Into Employment Scheme and HMRC’s RISE programmes.