Service Leavers

Leaving the armed forces and transitioning to civvy street can be a challenge. Service leavers can access various levels of service support from the Career Transition Partnership and their Unit Resettlement Office.

For those that have been based in Suffolk for some time, you may be slightly more aware of local employment opportunities than those based elsewhere but choose to return to the county post service.  Here are a few tips for service leavers that aim to make Suffolk their home once they leave the armed forces:  Networking is crucial and is a great social media tool that connects business people and business issues. Make contacts, learn about industry, find job opportunities, join networking groups for ex-forces and other professional groups and make people aware that you are looking for work. A basic profile, which is more than enough, is free.  

The Suffolk Armed Forces Business Network (LinkedIn Group) is slowly growing with more veteran contacts being added but also valuable civilian business leader allies too.

DWP Job Centre Plus - Armed Forces Champions

Job Centre Plus staff can gain support from a dedicated Armed Forces Champion if required. If you need extra support please let the staff know. New Universal Credit applications now have an option to record if you have served in any part of the Armed Forces. You can also contact the Suffolk Armed Forces Champion on AFC.Suffolk@DWP.GOV.UK

Career Options and Information:

  • RFEA – The Forces Employment Charity exists to provide life-long, life-changing support, job opportunities, and training to service leavers and veterans, irrespective of circumstances, rank, length of service, or reason for leaving. RFEA has specialist knowledge and understanding to bridge the gap between military life and civilian employment.  Email:; Tel: 0121 262 3058; Website: RFEA website
  • National Careers Service - knowledgeable and enthusiastic Advisers will provide you with the information, advice, and guidance that you will need to take control of your learning and working life. We also have the experience and knowledge of working in Suffolk (our main office is based in Ipswich) so they will know opportunities within the local area.

    For more information search online for National Careers Service or for advice over the phone call 0800 100 900 between 8am-10pm, 7 days a week. To book an appointment to see a careers adviser or if you would like to find out more about the National Careers Service please call us on 0845 603 1059

Looking at starting up in business

  • Enterprise Agencies can support people looking at self-employment / start-up business with business planning and developing your business idea.  There is a national network of Enterprise Agencies Network, in Suffolk they are MENTA and NWES.

  • X-Forces is a not for profit organisation that delivers business start-up programmes for service leavers or veterans.  X-Forces website.

Job Search Suffolk  For employment vacancies in public sector organisations in Suffolk register and visit the following website Suffolk Jobs Direct

Service Leavers and Veterans with Additional Support Needs

  • The Poppy Factory: Out-Reach Work Placements and Employment (wounded, injured or sick).  The Poppy Factory uses its unique expertise to help clients all over the UK to find meaningful and sustainable employment within many supportive commercial organisations. The Poppy Factory has a vision that “no disabled veteran who wants to work should be out of work” and aims to become the recruitment provider of choice for its ex-Forces clients and for employers alike.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.
  • Walking with the Wounded : First Steps (employment support wounded, injured or sick).  First Steps is designed to provide access to entry level, formal education or vocational training and to support other necessary costs relating to education or establishing a new career.  We aim to support wounded, injured or sick veterans to identify their new career path and then gain the qualifications and tools necessary for them to make a successful move into civilian life.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.
  • Help for Heroes Career Recovery is here to help you identify a new future outside of the Armed Forces.  For more information visit their website by clicking here.