Press release

Civil servants encouraged to join the Armed Forces Reserves

The government has launched a new campaign to encourage civil servants to join the Reserve Forces.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Members of the Armed Forces reserves

The British Army, alongside the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, are looking for civil servants to join the Reserve Forces, and the government has launched a new campaign to encourage civil servants and other public sector workers to consider a career in the reserves.

Our Reserve Forces are highly valued and are being expanded and modernised to reflect their increased role in the Armed Forces. The trained strength of the army reserve, for example, is growing to 30,000 by 2020, with reserve forces fully integrated into the army alongside their Regular colleagues. Delivering this change is a priority for the government and a priority for the country.

The campaign was launched on Friday 25 October 2013 with an event on Horse Guards Parade arranged especially for civil servants. It was a special preview of a recruitment showcase held for the general public on Saturday 26 October 2013, at the same location.

Civil servants were given the opportunity to check out a Scimitar light tank, a navy offshore raiding craft and experience an interactive facsimile Chinook helicopter. They were also able to chat to other civil servants who are already reservists and learn about how the reserve service provides some of the best personal and professional development available.

A civil servant talks to a member of the armed forces
Alex Aiken Executive Director for Government Communications talks to Brigadier Mark Van der Lande, Head of Reserves and Cadets.

The Civil Service is one of the UK’s largest employers of reservists and the government wants to ensure that its employees have the opportunity to develop personal and professional skills and help career progression. There are a number of benefits to joining as a civil servant, including exceptional training and skills development which benefit both the civil servant personally and the work they do in government.

Head of The Civil Service, Sir Bob Kerslake, said:

I want the civil service to be the very best employer of reservists, setting the standard which other public and private sector employers seek to follow. That’s why we now offer a minimum of 10 days’ additional special paid leave each year for reserve training.

At the heart of our Civil Service Reform Plan is a determination to develop the individual skills and capabilities of our civil servants. Reservists develop skills in areas like leadership, team work and problem-solving, often working under considerable pressure. These qualities are of immeasurable value to a large and dynamic employer like the civil service, and can help us deliver better services to the public.

Olaf Dudley, a procurement policy advisor at the Cabinet Office, and a Captain in the Territorial Army added:

Anything that helps you to think on your feet and which gives you a wider perspective to draw upon is likely to help you in your work, and being in the Reserve Forces has provided a lot of scope for both.

As a volunteer organisation which has to balance the availability of its members with their careers and family commitments, there are lots of ways in which people at all levels can make a very real difference, which is sometimes hard to replicate in ‘the day job’. In return, being a civil servant has enabled me to see the big-picture, pan-government view, with a sense of how it relates to defence, from the strategic right down to the very local level.

Mandy Mitchell, an administrative officer for Jobcentre Plus and a Senior Aircraftman in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force said:

Being a reservist has given me additional confidence as a team member and as a team leader. It’s helped me to tackle tasks and use my organisational abilities in some difficult situations.

I have always had support from my colleagues at the Jobcentre. They also kept in regular contact with me during my tour of Afghanistan and when I returned to work after 7 months away they helped ease me back into my role.

In July 2013, a new improved offer was introduced to reservists, their families and their employers. This includes an enhanced reservist experience, through access to the same equipment as regulars and high quality training, including more opportunities overseas, improved pay, pension provision and financial incentives for employers.

All parts of the Armed Forces (British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force) are actively recruiting reservists now. Call or follow the links to find out what opportunities are available and how to join:

Published 28 October 2013