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See the Potential in Britain's War Veterans

13/05/2016 10:17 | Updated 13 May 2016

As Prince Harry's Invictus Games were held in Florida this week, the spotlight was thrown once again on the bravery, determination and grit of Britain's armed forces.

The competitors had faced conflicts across the globe, with many suffering life-changing injuries in the course of serving their country.

This week they once again represented Britain - not in a warzone, but a sporting event that celebrated the tenacity and strength of injured former servicemen and women on their road to recovery.

Back here at home, I had the privilege to meet around a dozen current and former members of the armed forces at an event hosted by Barclays in Westminster.

The bank's AFTER programme aims to help former and current members of the armed forces find the right jobs after their military career, gain confidence and interview skills, and get them on the road to career success.

It follows research from the bank that shows ex-military personnel can face discrimination when looking for work - including being asked at interview if they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental health conditions.

It was inspirational to hear first-hand these individuals' experiences of serving in the military.

We owe the men and women who have served their country a huge debt of gratitude. And the Government has a big role to play in supporting them too.

That's why we are committed to making sure these brave veterans get the support they need to find fulfilling employment once they leave the armed forces.

To that end, we have enshrined the Armed Forces Covenant in law to ensure that we and wider society do just that.

There are dedicated Armed Forces Champions in every district across the Jobcentre Plus network. The Champions are there to help work coaches understand the range of support open to service leavers, and where extra support is needed refer them to specialist organisations.

The prime minister also announced last year the extension of the Careers Transition Programme to the whole of the armed forces.

The scheme helps personnel leaving the service to turn the skills, experience and qualifications they have gained into a successful career outside the military.

It's right that we go the extra mile to support members of the armed forces in recognition of their service, preparing to defend our country and our security.

It's important to highlight to employers that ex-servicemen and women - rather than bringing problems - can be an asset to any business.

Veterans have a wealth of experience and talents, developed in often difficult situations, and the value they bring to any organisation should not be underestimated.

I'd urge other companies to follow Barclays' example, see the potential in former members of the armed forces and look at whether they can recruit them into their businesses.

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