A 'one stop shop' linking ex-military personnel and their families with job opportunities, training courses and other local support has been launched in Wolverhampton.

The Wolverhampton Armed Forces Partnership was formed in January with a number of local organisations with expertise in areas including employment, housing and mental health coming together to see how they could best serve Armed Forces veterans, reservists, leavers and their families.

A launch event was held last month, with a second planned at the ChangeMakers Hub at Wolverhampton railway station next Wednesday, 21 June, from 11am to 1pm – and anyone with a connection to the Armed Forces is invited to attend.

Councillor Stephen Simkins, Armed Forces Champion for the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: “The council is delighted to be working with local agencies like the City of Wolverhampton College, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, Stepway and Pertemps to offer this opportunity for anyone with any sort of military connection to come and have a chat on an informal basis. 

"The staff on hand have a keen understanding of the issues facing the Armed Forces community and will be able to support with a range of matters including housing, health, leisure, education, training and employment. We are hoping that this initiative will become a regular fixture moving forward.”

Liam Peck, Regional Manager for recruitment specialist Pertemps, which helped set up the initiative, said: "Up to 16,000 individuals leave the British Armed Forces each year with the daunting prospect of facing a constantly evolving world, without the support structure that the Armed Forces typically provides.

“We are working with like minded Gold Award member organisations of the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme to make readily available a 'one stop' support mechanism to help those in the Wolverhampton area smoothly transition into the civilian environment that we all take for granted.”

Major Darren Knight, from the Pertemps Armed Forces Liaison Team, will be present at next week's event – which falls on National Reservist Day – to pay tribute to reservists in the form of an official salute, with all members of the Wolverhampton Armed Forces Partnership present, and a speech showcasing the benefits of reservists to both the Armed Forces and employers throughout Wolverhampton.

The City of Wolverhampton Council is a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant. For more information about the Armed Forces Covenant, and the help and support that is available to members of the armed forces community in Wolverhampton, please visit Armed Forces Covenant.