After seeing BAE Systems increasing its commitment to the Services by signing a revised Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, he encouraged other companies to follow their lead.
At the ceremony on board Type 23 frigate HMS Iron Duke, the Minister said:
Our Armed Forces community make a tremendous contribution to society, and they deserve the best possible support. BAE Systems were one of the first to sign the Covenant in 2013 and it is testament to their commitment to our service personnel and their families that they have taken this opportunity to update their pledges.
By providing further support for reservists, BAE Systems clearly recognises the skills and leadership qualities that they can bring to the workforce, and I hope even more companies across the UK will be encouraged to get behind the covenant and support the Armed Forces in any way they can.
The new agreement will see the BAE offer additional support to the families of Reservists throughout and beyond their operational duties. It also includes hosting Reserve recruiting teams across BAE Systems’ UK sites and implementing a regular review of Covenant progress.
The event also saw the company receive an Employer Recognition Gold Award from the Ministry of Defence.
The award, made to organisations that proactively advocate and support defence personnel matters, recognises BAE Systems’ recruitment of more than 100 armed service leavers through the MOD Career Transition Partnership.
Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director at BAE Systems said:
From developing and manufacturing world-leading equipment, to enabling employees that are members of the Reserve Forces to maintain their training commitments, providing support to the Armed Services lies at the very heart of our company ethos.
Since signing the Corporate Covenant in 2013, we have successfully brought together the activity that takes place across our UK businesses, supporting and encouraging those within our workforce that are members of the Reserve Forces, and recruiting many Service leavers and veterans with valuable skills into the company. Today’s event recognises the significant progress that we have already made, and strengthens our support moving forward.
BAE Systems was one of the first companies to sign the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in 2013, making ten commitments to demonstrate its support to the Armed Services. The revised Covenant will provide further focus to BAE Systems’ Armed Service support activities, increasing support of employees that are active Reserves, facilitating Reserve recruitment activity and monitoring the delivery of all commitments through regular review and assessment of the Corporate Covenant.