Leeds & West Yorkshire

Kirklees Council promises job interviews for ex-forces

The 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment march through Warminster
Image caption Military veterans will get guaranteed interviews for vacancies at Kirklees Council

Forces veterans will be guaranteed an interview for any local authority job in Kirklees, provided they meet essential criteria for the role.

There was cross-party backing and unanimous support for the plan in a vote at Huddersfield Town Hall.

The move reflects growing concern that servicemen and women often struggle to cope with civilian life.

Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green groups joined with Conservatives to bring the proposal to full council.

The motion recognised "the invaluable contribution made to our community and country" by service personnel.

But it said that they are not always equipped with the administrative skills needed to satisfy employment procedures, the Local Democracy Reporting Service says.

Others councils applying similar schemes across England and Wales include York, Crawley, Rochdale, North Tyneside and Bridgend.

'Make it happen'

The Royal British Legion has been asked for a list of all the councils in England and Wales adopting similar schemes.

Martyn Bolt (Conservative, Mirfield) said he hoped Kirklees could act as an example for other local authorities.

Speaking after the vote he said: "The fact that it got unanimous support shows local government and politicians in the best light.

Leader of the Labour-run council Shabir Pandor said he was "honoured" to be able to second the motion.

"All the parties are fully behind it. We can now start putting together the building blocks to make it happen."

Lib Dem group leader John Lawson said: "Every now and then a motion comes along and you're surprised that it's not already in place."

Green Group leader Andrew Cooper said: "We must do all we can to help them to adjust to civilian life and ensuring they get a job interview is one way we can help."

The Royal British Legion said: "We welcome any steps that support the Armed Forces Covenant, which says that those who serve in the armed forces, whether regular or reserve, should face no disadvantage compared to other citizens because of their time in service.

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