Companies urged to take on ex-military personnel for their 'outstanding' skills and qualities
PUBLISHED: 09:16 06 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:16 06 February 2020
Jim Brown/Suffolk County Council
Suffolk employers are being urged to make use of a large talent pool of ex-armed services personnel who choose to make their homes in the county after they are discharged.
The county is home to around 34,000 veterans, of which 10,500 are of working age - which represents around 2.34% of Suffolk's working age population. Around 130 ex-UK armed forces personnel choose to move to the county to live and work each year.
Key representatives from Suffolk's business sectors, including veterans working in local companies, joined members of the armed forces community at law firm Birketts' Ipswich offices to learn about future employment opportunities and share experiences.
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The Good Business and the Armed Forces event - which was coordinated by Suffolk County Council and 6 Regiment Army Air Corps and sponsored by Birketts - looked at how Suffolk businesses can better engage with and support those leaving the armed forces.
Lt Col Jon Lowe, commanding officer of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps, told delegates the UK armed forces provided "an unrivalled learning and development system that not only benefits the individual but also society and future workforce".
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In October 2012, the county signed up to a voluntary pledge of mutual support between the civilian community and its local armed forces community through the Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant.
Suffolk Armed Forces Commissioner Colonel John Ogden said employment was a key pillar of the Armed Forces Covenant action plan and expressed delight that so many local businesses had offered their backing.
Mark Pendlington, chair of the Suffolk Lieutenancy Business and Enterprise Group, said: "We need to better recognise the outstanding qualities and skills of service personnel, all of whom have a unique and special role to play in developing and growing successful businesses here in Suffolk.
"The focus of this excellent event today is a real call to action to business leaders to help release the potential in the armed forces talent pool."
The event looked at resettlement support services available to people leaving the armed forces and discussion groups examined the potential for developing local engagement events and support.
Birketts chief executive Jonathan Agars said: "By highlighting the skills and attributes ex service personnel can offer the workforce, knowledge share events like this one are invaluable for boosting Suffolk businesses whilst giving something back to those who have already given so much to society."