Partnering with Defence 2017: Conference shows growing commitment from employers

Defence Relationship Management hosted their third annual Partnering with Defence Conference on Tuesday, (14th March), bringing together employers that have pledged their support to the Armed Forces and MOD representatives.

The Partnering with Defence conference, at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster, featured four focussed seminar sessions, as well as an evening drinks reception.

During the first seminar on Small Businesses, delegates found out about initiatives that are specifically aimed at SMEs. The Mutual Benefits of the Armed Forces Covenant seminar provided an update on the key activities and future direction of the Armed Forces Covenant and discussed what more Defence can do to strengthen their relationship with employers. Organisations with established military networks shared best practice and discussed the benefits this initiative has had to their business in the Military Networks seminar. And in Going for Gold, delegates heard from members of the newly established ERS Gold Alumni.

Reaching this milestone also shows growing recognition of the unique skills and experience that reservists and former service personnel offer their organisations.
— Sir Michael Fallon, Defence Secretary

During the conference, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced 1,500 UK organisations have now signed the Armed Forces Covenant, with building materials supplier, Travis Perkins revealed as the 1,500th signatory. Speaking at the conference, Sir Michael, said: “By signing the Covenant, Travis Perkins joins firms across Britain committed to ensuring those who serve or have served our country are better supported. Reaching this milestone also shows growing recognition of the unique skills and experience that reservists and former service personnel offer their organisations.”

Throughout the day, delegates also heard proactive examples of best practice among a number of organisations, including Emily Hewitt of Waves Training Solutions, who discussed the benefits of partnering with Defence with SMEs. Waves has been awarded gold by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), with the business strongly advocating the value of military skills in the workplace.

Other key speakers included, Malcolm Warr, from the Federation of Small businesses, who discussed the challenges of partnering with Defence and Major General Bob Bruce, who is currently on a six month placement with the Royal Bank of Scotland before heading the Army Personnel Centre in Glasgow.

SaluteMyJob is proud to be partnering with Defence and is committed to supporting the employment of veterans.
— Andrew Jackson, Managing Director SaluteMyJob

Managing Director of SaluteMyJob, Andrew Jackson, said: “SaluteMyJob is proud to be partnering with Defence and is committed to supporting the employment of veterans. As part of our programme, SaluteMyJob is teaming up with the Officers’ Association on 4th and 5th April to host the UK’s first Ex-Military in Management Virtual Careers Fair. The aim of the event is to connect veteran friendly employers with transitioning and ex-military jobseekers through an interactive virtual careers fair. The event is aimed at former or transitioning Service men and women looking for management roles and is a great opportunity for ex-military jobseekers to meet a number of Armed Forces friendly employers.”

To find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant, click here.