Across Yorkshire, more than 240 employers have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant to pledge their support for the military.

The Covenant was launched by the Government in 2014 and is run in this area by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire and The Humber (RFCA) which has a team in place to support employers that want to do their bit for the military.

Its regional employer engagement director Richard Lenton said: “Signing up to the Covenant is quick and easy.

“But for many companies it is an important first step on the ladder towards getting a better understanding of the military and accessing a pool of fantastic potential employees in the form of service leavers and reservists.

“My team is here to help every organisation that signs the Covenant and make sure they have all the information and support they need to get maximum benefit.”

“We support companies big and small – ranging from one-man bands to large, international businesses employing hundreds of people,” said Richard.

“What they have in common is that they want to do the right thing by Britain’s Armed Forces and at the same time recognise the business benefits that being forces-friendly can bring.”

Once signed up to the Covenant, many firms choose to deepen their commitment by embedding forces-friendly policies and procedures into their working practices – enabling them to take part in the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme

The Employer Recognition Scheme has three tiers – Bronze, Silver and Gold. To reach its highest, Gold Award level, employers need to go the extra mile for the military, for example, by offering guaranteed interviews and extra paid leave so reservists can attend annual training camps.

In North and West Yorkshire, City of York Council, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and WYG in Leeds have so far achieved a Gold Award but Richard is working with many others to follow their lead.

There are clear reasons why so many organisations have opted to sign up to the Covenant, says Richard. It enables them to:

  • show their support for Britain’s Armed Forces.
  • display the Armed Forces’ Covenant logo on their website and other marketing materials.
  • get access to free, military-run leadership and teambuilding training.
  • get help and guidance on advertising their vacancies on free, military-focussed jobs boards
  • make their organisation more attractive to high-quality service leavers and reservists.

It takes just five minutes to sign up at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/corporate-covenant-pledge

For more information about the Armed Forces Covenant, contact the Employer Engagement Team at the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Yorkshire and The Humber at yh-areed@rfca.mod.uk or call (01904) 637929.