Poppyscotland report reveals that veterans are six times more likely to be unemployed than other Scots.
One in three Scottish veterans is left without a job after serving their country in the armed forces, new figures from a leading charity have revealed.
Poppyscotland, which carried out the research, said it is totally unacceptable that ex-military personnel are still six times more likely than the average Scot to be out of work.
In comparison to the Scottish national unemployment rate of just one in 20 people, a shocking 50% of veterans who have left military service with an illness or injury cannot find a job.
The damming findings of the Revisiting the Employment Support Needs of Veterans in Scotland study do however show an improvement on a previous report – carried out by the charity in 2009 – that concluded veterans in Scotland were worse off than their counterparts in the rest of the UK.
That report highlighted Scots were suffering more in areas including homelessness, alcohol misuse, mental health problems and finances.
We hope that the public will continue to support us as we strive to help disabled and vulnerable veterans get back into work
While barriers still exist, the latest report shows there has been a shift with a smaller percentage of veterans in Scotland now experiencing difficulties than those in the rest of the UK.
Poppyscotland’s head of welfare services Gary Gray said gaps in service provision across the country had been closed but warned more had to be done to address high unemployment among veterans of working age.
“The 2009 findings were of huge concern and compelled us to focus on this area as a priority,” he said.
“We are encouraged by the new report, which provides evidence that the investment by Poppyscotland and others in the sector is making a difference.
“However, although we are heading in the right direction, there is still a long way to go.”
Since 2009, Poppyscotland has invested more than £2million to fund a number of employment initiatives for disabled and vulnerable veterans.
Services funded by the charity include giving out grants to veterans to retrain, jobs at the Lady Haig poppy factory and a five-day course offering veterans advice, guidance and skills to get back into work.
Gray added: “As a charity that relies on donations, Poppyscotland has only been able to provide this level of support thanks to the generosity of the Scottish public.
"From paying for a bus or train fare so that a veteran can attend a job interview to funding a mental health project for a year, our services are cost-effective and they are improving lives.
"We hope that the public will continue to support us as we strive to help disabled and vulnerable veterans get back into work.”