Burnley businesses explore the advantages of working with the armed forces

Project Lead of The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub Ian Barber addresses the Forces Friendly - Business Benefits Event in Burnley
Project Lead of The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub Ian Barber addresses the Forces Friendly - Business Benefits Event in Burnley

Company bosses in Burnley have learned how working with the armed forces can benefit their business.

To better improve the understanding of the Armed Forces Covenant, a series of Forces Friendly - Business Benefits Events are being held.

The first was in Burnley at the new UCLan complex at Victoria Mill and as a result of attending the inaugural event, the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce has now invited The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub to deliver a further meeting for its members.

Speakers explained the various partnership opportunities including signing up to the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme; a graded honour to encourage companies to work more closely with armed forces personnel and their families.

They also explained the advantages a veteran can bring to the workplace and the transferable skills they will have from their military career.

Ashley St John-Claire, training and development manager for BCW Manufacturing in Burnley, explained that of 240 employees at the BCW 15 were veterans.

The Royal Navy veteran said: “On my second day of employment I got the company to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme. It is easy, it is valued and the rewards are massive.

“We have a great opportunity to get people back into work that will be sustainable in the long term.”

Now, through links with 4 Lancs and Fulwood Barracks, he said team building and training days will be offered to all staff at the company.

Burnley Council’s Armed Forces Champion Coun. Cosima Towneley thanked everyone for their attendance and for the support they were showing towards the armed forces.

Describing the services community as a ‘microclimate of everyday life’ she said: “Hopefully by working together we will be able to get the best for the veterans who have skills that should be used.”

Plant Manager Phil Ord from Futaba Manufacturing in Burnley said: “I thought it would be just about how to get ex-armed forces personnel into work but it was a lot more. It is about partnership working and I think it will help our business in relation to training and it is also the chance to give a bit back.”

The company manufactures precision parts for Toyota but offers a range of job opportunities.

Project Lead of The Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub Ian Barber said: “I am very pleased with the feedback from the event and we will now be planning events in central and north Lancashire and Blackpool and the Fylde.”