Partnering with Defence 2016: national employer conference shows growing commitment from employers to defence
On 16 March, the Ministry of Defence hosted the second annual Partnering with Defence conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre.
Over 150 delegates from industry and defence had the opportunity to meet and present on what has been achieved by closer links between the two.
Major General John Crackett, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff for Reserve Forces and Cadets and Defence Relationship Management’s Director Engagement, Fleur Thomas, gave an overview of how regular employer engagement is making a difference to the ‘defence people’ agenda.
The day focused on the value of military skills and the potential for that talent pool to make a significant contribution to the prosperity of a business. Opportunities for employers in all sectors to work with defence to ensure fair treatment for servicemen and women in the commercial environment were also explored.
Participants heard proactive examples of best practice among big and small organisations; many of them gold award winners in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. Speakers from BT, PwC, Carillion, Kier, The AA, NHS Employers, HSBC, M-EC Consulting Development Engineers, Nationwide, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Babcock and Tesco, all shared initiatives that are enhancing the lives and careers of the armed forces community.
In a compelling session entitled ‘Our defence people’, a reservist, a service leaver, a cadet, a service spouse and a cadet force adult volunteer shared the stage to tell the audience their personal experiences. Their stories emphasised the vital value of career planning and employer support.
The Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, Mark Lancaster, thanked employers for their continued commitment to defence. During the conference, the minister also co-signed the Armed Forces Covenant with The Open University, helping defence move closer to reaching the landmark 1000th Covenant signatory.
Hear why employer support is so vital and how employer engagement is rapidly growing across the UK:
Feedback from the day indicates that employers felt inspired by the speakers and appreciated the opportunities to hear real examples of what can and is being done to help our armed forces.