Industry-leading systems supplier VEKA hosted representatives from the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment at the company’s Burnley HQ to give staff chance to find out more about joining the Army Reserve.
VEKA was recently presented with a Bronze Award Certificate from the Ministry of Defence for pledging to support those who serve. The MoD’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) awards certificates to dedicated organisations which have opted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, demonstrating their commitment to offering fair employment and support to members of the Armed Forces.
VEKA’s Operations Director Paul Armstrong welcomed the soldiers on site before employees from across the company were encouraged to visit the stand and find out about the part-time opportunities available within the Army Reserve.
Paul said: “Last year, I was invited to visit Cyprus, by the Army, on behalf of VEKA laminator Mark Schofield – who has been in the Army Reserve for more than 20 years. The trip was an opportunity to learn about reservists’ military work and how it complements their ‘everyday’ roles. Since then, we are proud to have organised some Army Reserve workshops for our staff as a way to offer some of our employees a fresh perspective on life outside work. The primary aim to give advice and information that might hopefully see some more men and women join up.”
Captain Mark Lydiate headed up the recruitment team: “It’s great when forward-thinking organisations like VEKA invite us on site to speak to staff, because joining the Army Reserve can be incredibly beneficial, both for individuals and their employers.
“Recruitment events like this allow us to chat to people that might not otherwise know what being in the Army Reserve involves, and how it can work in conjunction with another career. As well as the benefits of travel, adventure and extra pay, there’s a huge range of training opportunities with qualifications that are directly applicable to civilian jobs.
“The minimum amount of time that you have to commit as an Army reservist is just 27 days per year. So you can see how easily it can work alongside another job. Especially with companies like VEKA, that have pledged to support people in these roles.
“Chatting to people one-to-one, at regional events like this, gives us the time to answer questions about anything and everything. The lads from the VEKA factory were interested in the weapons we brought on site and so they were able to feel the weight of the guns, helmets and kit bags for themselves while finding out more about various Army roles.
“We were also able to highlight some of the more diverse benefits that we’ve helped recruits enjoy recently; like the 30 reservists we took on ski training trip to France and those that have been put through their driving test, at no cost to them. Not to mention the fact that reservists get paid to train, and earn tax-free ‘bounties’ that increase in each successive year.”