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Discovering the Value of the Armed Forces Covenant

Recruitment is an inevitable challenge for any business that wants to grow and thrive, throughout Yorkshire and much further afield. On the flipside, however, it’s also a challenge for those who serve or have served in the armed forces – along with their families.

Starting or continuing your career can be difficult when you’ve dedicated several years of your life to serving your country and its economy. The Armed Forces Covenant aims to assist with both of those challenges, creating a win-win solution for local businesses and forces personnel.

What is the Armed Forces Covenant?

The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment by the nation to the people who serve or have served in the armed forces. It’s a pledge to them and their families that they will be given fair and equal opportunity throughout their lives, including for housing, healthcare, education, financial assistance and work.

Along with central government, the covenant can be signed by local authorities, public sector organisations, charities and businesses of any size. In fact, that was the topic of conversation at a recent West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Pure Networking event in York.

Overcoming recruitment challenges

Volta Compliance is a local business based in Leeds, specialising in electrical compliance for companies across Yorkshire. They’re one of many organisations in the region who have encountered difficulties when trying to recruit the right people to meet growing demand and expand their services.

At the Pure Networking event in York, they met with Pauline King, Regional Employer Engagement Director from another West & North Yorkshire Chamber member – The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire and The Humber.

After discussing the challenges they were facing, Pauline was able to explain the value of signing the Armed Forces Covenant and how they could build mutually beneficial partnerships going forward.

Advantages for forces-friendly employers

Since their first discussion, Volta’s team attended another event, hosted by St. John’s University, where they signed the Armed Forces Covenant, committing to supporting existing and ex forces families by assisting with the transition back into civilian employment.

Becoming a forces-friendly employer allows businesses to benefit from the unique skillset and experiences that come from reservists and veterans. It gives them access to a workforce with a laundry list of transferable skills – planning, process, strategy and objectives, as well as the ability to challenge all of those constructively. They’re also creative problem solvers who have passed the ultimate test when it comes to teamwork.

While hiring a veteran or reservist may be seen as a risk, or simply the ‘right’ thing to do morally, it’s also the right thing to do commercially for a wide range of businesses. The Armed Forces Covenant encourages employers to change the way they see recruitment. While candidates might not tick the box for industry experience, for example, they could tick a lot of other boxes you haven’t yet considered.

Find out more about Volta Compliance at: voltacompliance.com

Or to learn more about the covenant and how to get involved, visit: armedforcescovenant.gov.uk