June 16th 2023

Relations strengthened on successful employer trip to Cyprus

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A special employer trip to Cyprus has helped to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of Reserve Forces as assets to Defence and the workplace.

Visitors were welcomed into the Bloodhound Camp and surrounding area between 19-21 May to meet Reserves and watch them in action as part of Exercise Kronos Hunter – an exercise involving simulated platoon attacks in challenging Mediterranean terrain.

Amongst Reservists on deployment were those from 162 Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, which has headquarters in Nottingham. In the last year, the Regiment has deployed Reserves for almost 2,000 days on exercises and operations.

Resilience was one of the key qualities being tested, which fundamentally benefits a Reservist’s employer. Soldiers worked together to persevere and problem solve under deliberately challenging conditions.

Tegan Pivard (pictured below) represented specialist manufacturer Doncasters Group on the excursion. Her company has its headquarters in Burton-on-Trent. During the trip she had the opportunity to see Private Robert Lacey, who works at Doncasters, in action.

She said: “It was great to see first-hand the skills that Rob has acquired as a Reservist which he can bring back to his job at Doncasters. As a Forces-friendly employer, we are more than happy to support our Reservists.”

Tegan Pivard

Pte Lacey said the prospect of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities – such as the heli-lift near to RAF Akratori – new friendships and the chance to upskill himself for the benefit of his employer were all motivating factors in joining the Reserves.

Kirstie Lawrence, Deputy Regional Employer Engagement Director (East Midlands), added: “This trip was an ideal working opportunity to gain a broad and exciting snapshot into the inner workings of our Nation’s Reserve Forces.

“Sunny Episkopi tests the Reserves in numerous talents they take back to civilian employment and utilise to employer’s benefit daily. When you are in the scrub for days under the summer heat you soon strengthen your problem-solving ability, your mental resilience and your team working capacity.

“The change can be remarkable. For some it can prepare them for promotion.

“The benefits to a good working relationship with your Reservist clearly pays off as displayed when you see them being stressed and strained in adverse conditions that you cannot replicate in the civilian workplace. When you support time off for Reservist training, you can thank yourselves for upskilling your workforce.”