7. Looking to the Future
The Scottish Government will work with its partners to ensure that the standards of service provision for the Armed Forces community in Scotland improve further. Together, we have already delivered significant achievements, but there is more that we can do. We will strive to make Scotland the destination of choice for personnel leaving the Armed Forces, and will remain committed to ensuring that no one should suffer disadvantage as a result of military service.
Working collaboratively with our partners remains key to our future success. We will continue to strengthen our Armed Forces and Veterans Champions networks throughout Scotland – for example by the inclusion of champions in each of the five Skills Development Scotland areas and the potential development of a network within colleges and universities.
We will prioritise the work being undertaken in response to the Scottish Veterans Commissioner published reports and will update the Scottish Parliament annually on our achievements. We also look forward to the Veterans Commissioner's forthcoming reports on Health.
Provision of physical and mental healthcare will remain a high priority for the Scottish Government. This commitment was reinforced in the recently published Mental Health Strategy (2017-27) which highlighted our continuing support for efforts to meet the needs of veterans and their families. We will continue to use the Armed Forces and Veterans Health Joint Group as a forum to look at how specific support for the Armed Forces community will be delivered. We also will take forward further discussions with the Ministry of Defence to explore options for streamlining the transfer of military health records to local GPs when people leave the Armed Forces.
Veterans' Employability will remain a core focus for the Scottish Government and we will continue to emphasise that our veterans have a range of skills and attributes of value to civilian employers. Specifically, the next round of the Scottish Veterans Fund will again have a dedicated strand focusing on employability projects, and we will work with Skills Development Scotland to include content for Service Leavers and veterans in the 2018 Modern Apprentice Week.
Through the Veterans Employability Strategic Group, the Scottish Government, along with other partner organisations, will look at what more can be done to improve the employment prospects of veterans. This will include considering the role that work placements play in helping individuals identify future career paths, and how tailored qualitative research could be used to understand better the issues faced by personnel transitioning into civilian employment.
On housing we will continue to review the information available to ensure it is up-to-date and easily understood. Specifically, we will re-launch 'A Scottish Guide for People Leaving the Armed Forces and Ex-Service Personnel' in early 2018, and we will publish updated practice guidance on social housing allocations which will include advice on local connection.
Support for families also remains a priority, such as spousal employability and the continuing work of the Scottish Service Children Strategy Group  to guide and deliver support for children from Armed Forces families in Scotland.
Scotland continues to be a society which recognises the value that our military personnel, veterans and their families bring to our communities. Looking ahead, the Scottish Government will carry on providing support where it is needed most, and will continue to focus on driving up service provision further.