Job support for veterans backed by Cherwell councillors

Councillor Kieron Mallon NNL-141023-165933001
Councillor Kieron Mallon NNL-141023-165933001

‘A hand up not a hand out’ for veterans applying for jobs at Cherwell District Council will be looking into after being given unanimous support from councillors.

Councillors gave their full support for the scheme, which would guarantee an interview for ex-service personnel with the appropriate skills, at the council meeting on Monday.

Cllr Kieron Mallon thanked his fellow members for backing his motion, as numerous councillors shared their experiences of applying for jobs as a veteran for themselves and loved ones.

“This is not about charity, it’s about jobs, it’s not about a hand out, it’s about a hand up. It’s about enabling veterans to help themselves and their families, there’s no charitable aim to this whatsoever,” he said.

Cllr Mallon’s motion asked officers to consider the introduction of a guaranteed interview scheme for veterans together with a review of the current advertising for vacancies.

The Banbury councillor argued that veterans often do not realise the skills they have so when they enter civilian life, they can under-achieve and may struggle with ‘selling’ themselves to employers.

Cllr Cassi Perry, a veteran herself, said she remembered the anxiety of applying for jobs as in the armed forces, commanding officers usually put staff forward rather than them having to fight for it.

Deputy chairman Cllr David Hughes said the council would also benefit from hiring more veterans, while Cllr Andrew McHugh said they make quick learners.

Officers will now review the proposal and come back to the full council in due course.