A leading construction group has signed the first Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in Yorkshire at an employers’ “Meet Your Army” event at Nostell Priory near Wakefield.
Kier Group, a leading construction, services and property group signed the pledge designed to allow businesses and charitable organisations to express their support, and commit to ways in which they can provide that support. It was also signed by Brigadier Greville Bibby, Commander 15 (North East) Brigade on behalf of the military.
Seventy employers from all over Yorkshire gathered to learn more about Army Reservists and personnel leaving the Armed Forces.
The “Meet Your Army” event was organised by the YORhub Construction Frameworks for Yorkshire and Humber, Kier Group, the North of England Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and the regional Army brigade, 15 (North East) Brigade.
The employers from the construction sector heard the experiences of Army Reservists and Service leavers as well as from the Army Engagement Team, the Career Transition Partnership who help military personnel find civilian employment and training and from employers, Kier Group and YORhub.
“Kier Group is delighted to be in the first group of companies to sign up to the Corporate Covenant,” said Duncan Whiting, a Director of Kier.
“The Corporate Covenant complements the Armed Forces and Community Covenants and allows the commercial sector to commit to the same principles - that no member of the Armed Forces Community should be disadvantaged in the provision of public or commercial services, and that in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate for the injured or bereaved.
“Kier will demonstrate that it is an Armed Forces friendly organisation by recognising military skills, seeking to employ veterans, working to provide flexibility with employees who are also reservists and by striving to support service dependants and local cadet organisations.“
Two of the Kier Group employees spoke of their experiences as an Army Reservist and as a service leaver. Holly Brunt, a former Craftsman with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, comes from Salford.
“It has been good to share the positives of being in the TA and also working in the construction industry,” said Holly who works as an assistant site manager.
Gas Engineer Paul “Tim” Timothy from Durham spoke of his experiences when he left the Royal Engineers trying to find a work placement in order to complete his training.
“We are here to let employers know that we are employable,” he said.
“Give Reserves and service leavers a chance to show to what they have to offer.”
Brigadier Greville Bibby CBE who heads up the Army regular and reserve troops in Yorkshire and the North East said: “As we are increasing the number of Army reservists in the region, we were keen to offer Yorkshire employers the chance to “Meet their Army”. We hope this has given them a clearer understanding of the military and the support they need and also the benefits that a Reservist or a veteran can provide to a business.
“However, this is a two-way conversation and we were also keen to take on board their views and opinions. The new Army Reserve needs the backing of businesses in Yorkshire and the North East and this event has been about continuing that conversation, developing our excellent relationship with these employers and providing them with an insight into the military.
“We were delighted to have the Kier Group sign an Armed Forces Corporate Covenant – the first in the region. We hope that other businesses will follow suit in committing to support the Armed Forces Community.”
For more information on the Army Reserves in Yorkshire and Humberside please log on to : http://www.rfca-yorkshire.org.uk/or https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence/about/recruitment.
More information about the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant is available on https://www.gov.uk/the-corporate-covenant#the-corporate-covenant.
For more information on YORhub log on to http://www.yorhub.com/what-we-do/employment-and-skills/ and for Kier Group log on to http://www.kier.co.uk/
Photos by Corporal Gabriel Moreno RLC