News story: Corporates urged to remember veterans


War Hero
RBS and Kier, signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant, say that supporting the Armed Forces is not just a moral obligation - it also makes commercial common sense.

Jim Fernandes, the Defence Sector Lead within Kier Group plc, a leading property, residential, construction and services group, comments on the benefits of employing veterans and reservists:

Over and above the moral commitment to support those that have done so much for their country, the key synergies in employment terms are also very apparent. In both military and construction environments, teams have to be highly professional, disciplined, effective communicators, capable of leading and managing, at all levels not just at senior levels, as in both environments safety is paramount as lives can be at stake.

At Kier we have also noticed a synergy in character as Forces and Kier personnel both tend to be motivated individuals with a strong sense of loyalty and camaraderie, who look out for their colleagues, form strong teams and work together to achieve great things. Consequently transitioning Forces personnel, both regular and reservist, quickly settle and add value in Kier, reinforcing our core values and enhancing the business offering as a result.

Chris Davis, ex Royal Engineers Sergeant and current Kier design manager, adds:

I was able to transfer quite a lot of skills and relevant experience from military life to my current role; things like a disciplined and structured approach to tasks, an ability to cope with challenges calmly and to cope well under pressure. It was also good to find a similar sense of comradeship and teamwork that I was used to and valued.

Professional skills like management, time management, general professionalism, and an ability to assume command if normal processes or structures fail to meet our needs, were also really applicable. It is challenging making the move from Forces life to the private sector.

Rhona Turnbull, a former training officer at the Royal Navy who now works at RBS talked about the soft skills that enabled her to flourish at RBS:

As a Sub Lieutenant Royal Navy Reservist my job was to teach university undergraduates nautical navigation, seamanship, teamwork and leadership skills both in the classroom and on-board HMS Archer. My experiences as a training officer enhanced skills which I later used at RBS – planning, giving presentaitons, mentoring and working to deadlines.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise between the nation, government and the Armed Forces to treat our serving personnel, veterans and their families with fairness and respect. Corporates, charities and local authorities can sign the Armed Forces Covenant and make their own promise to support the Forces in ways of their choosing.

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