On the 15th of October, RIFT held the second of its Military Engagement Day events, where we reach out to the Armed Forces community to help them get the very best from our services. For this event, we’d sent out invitations to local businesses to join us for breakfast and learn more about why we employ so many ex-Armed Forces personnel ourselves. We also invited in a panel of experienced MOD employees to answer questions. This time, our panel included representatives from:

  • 1 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment.
  • Third Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
  • SE-RFCA.

The day was organised by our RIFT Armed Forces Liaison team of Shaun Micallef-Green (Head of Armed Forces Liaison) and Astra Fraser (RIFT Armed Forces Liaison Officer), and kicked off with an introduction from our MD, Bradley Post. Bradley spoke about what our engagement with the military community has meant for us, and how our pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant has helped shape the way we work.

Bradley’s introduction was followed up by a talk from Andrew Gibbs on Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) commitments and the Employee Recognition Scheme. Andrew is one of three Regional Employer Engagement Directors working in the South East. His job is to provide Defence Relationship Management on the MOD’s behalf, meaning he advises charities and both public and private sector businesses that have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. He also offers support to those nominated for an Employer Recognition Scheme award.

Next came a presentation from two members of RIFT, Penelope Vaughan and Matt Solly on their valuable experiences at the Sandhurst Leadership Day event. After these talks, we opened up a panel discussion, with our invited Armed Forces guests answering questions from the audience. In a broad-ranging conversation, we heard about their experiences from being in the Army Cadet Force, as Reservists and as full time serving members of the British Armed Forces, through to their work with business and education outreach and support.

Finally, Bradley returned to re-sign our updated pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant. RIFT reaffirms its AFC commitment periodically, adding new pledges as our business evolves and grows. As the company continues to go from strength to strength, the support we’re able to offer to the military community expands alongside us. The more closely we forge these relationships, the more we learn from our Armed Forces partners and the better we’re able to support them. The key points raised and considered during this most recent event were:

  • The benefits ex-Service people bring to a business.
  • The impact of having ex-Service people as employees on the culture of a business.
  • How to recognise if your leadership team and business are ready to welcome ex-Forces personnel.
  • How to identify if employing those with a military background is what you need for your business.
  • How to ensure a cultural "good fit" when you bring in members of the Armed Forces community, and how to make sure you get the best from them.
  • The many benefits for non-military staff of engaging with the military community through the Covenant program – for example, at team building or educational events.
  • The benefits of supporting Reservists.
  • The skills and attitudes young people with Cadet Force experience bring to work and apprenticeships.
  • Ongoing training and transferrable skills.
  • The private sector use of Reservists with "niche skills".

Overall, this was another great Military Engagement event. Every opportunity to reach out to the Armed Forces community is valuable, and being able to spread the message about the benefits of employing ex-military personnel is always wonderful. As RIFT works toward reaching the Armed Forces Covenant’s prestigious Gold tier, we’re only going to push harder to support those willing to put their lives at risk to protect our own. That’s the heart of our Armed Forces Covenant commitment, and it’s a pledge we’re honoured to make.

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