February 7th 2024

Military Reservists are worth their weight in gold

Leicestershire County Council's Reserves Day event in 2023 brought employers together with Reservists

Kirstie Lawrence, our Regional Employer Engagement Director, outlines the benefits of employers supporting their staff to join the Reserve Forces.

In 2023 I had the pleasure of organising an exclusive employer trip to one of Britain’s overseas military bases in Cyprus.

Wherever I go I spread awareness of the great value Reserve Sailors, Soldiers and Aviators add to their employer’s workplace. This rare three-day trip with simulated platoon attacks and helicopter lifts was a chance for employers to see for themselves what incredible people they have within their workplace.

The Reservist: twice the citizen

For those unfamiliar, a Reservist is someone who dedicates some of their spare time to serving in the military. The minimum commitment for an Army Reservist is generally 27 days split over evenings, weekends and their annual training exercise.

Reserve Forces play a critical role in national defence and security, from countering threats, peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts abroad, to supporting communities and national resilience at home.

Through their core military training, Reservists develop leadership, communication and teamwork skills. They are pressure tested in deliberately challenging conditions that cannot be replicated in the civilian workplace and, as a result, are resilient and resourceful – basically, our people add value.

Reserve Forces are also often called upon for their specialist skills, either those built upon from the civilian sector or developed from scratch. This includes driving, health and safety, cyber, engineering, catering and language skills as well as HGV licences and nationally-recognised qualifications.

These are transferable traits and skills that we know businesses are searching for, and all of which come without cost to them. In fact, Reservists receive training which would cost an organisation at least £8,000 a year to implement.

Tegan Pivard, Doncasters Group, traveled to Cyprus in 2023 on a trip for employer to find out more about the Reserves.

Tegan Pivard, Doncasters Group, travelled to Cyprus in 2023 on a trip for employers to find out more about the Reserves.

A partnership with Defence

Reserves are worth their weight in gold and showing them you are a Forces-friendly business is as easy as signing the Armed Forces Covenant. This simple pledge is free to make and is based on the premise that those who serve or have served in the military, including Reserves, are not disadvantaged by their service.

Organisations who take this further and can demonstrate how they support and advocate for Defence can advance through the Employer Recognition Scheme, the Ministry of Defence’s highest badge of honour for employers. Proudly displaying this instantly-recognisable award will catch the eye of job-seeking Reservists and also encourage existing staff members to consider the life-expanding opportunities of the Reserve Forces.

By supporting the Reserves you are forging a mutually-beneficial relationship. You are supporting the defence of the nation and bringing in valuable staff members to your workplace.

And if you have a penchant for the Mediterranean, who knows, you might one day find yourself flying out to Cyprus to see first-hand how incredible our Reserve Forces are.

Discover more about the Armed Forces Covenant

This article first appeared in the February edition of East Midlands Chamber’s ‘Business Network’ magazine.