Army drives home SME message in recruitment bid

Published: 10 Apr 2015 09:30


ARMY reservists are worth £377 million to UK employers. That’s their overall training value, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), whose Armed Forces are embarking on their biggest transformational change since the end of World War II.

The British Army will oversee a 33,000 reduction in regular forces and a marked increase in reservists by 2019 in a move it says will help to rebalance the economy.

It says 50 per cent of military training received by reservists is directly transferrable to the civilian workplace and is encouraging more Scottish employers to consider either employing reservists, or to encourage their staff to sign up.

According to the Army, employing reservists has added value for businesses and, for their staff, any deployment is like a “mini-secondment”.

Based on latest figures, each reservist receives around £9,000 worth of training from the MoD every year, compared to just £822 – the annual sum spent on the average employee in the UK.

For reservists attending military training for around 26 days a year, this equates to 13 days of training in skills related to their civilian role – something that’s otherwise estimated to cost employers around £7,800 if they had to pay for it themselves.

Since most reservist training takes place at weekends, evenings and on the employee’s own time, it’s estimated to save employers more than £1,300 a year.

Benefits to SMEs

• It costs employers nothing but, for each deployment, SMEs can tap into a maximum £500 per month benefit and the Army will pay to recruit a temporary replacement – including advertising for the role, HR (Human Resources) support, re-training and the replacement wage depending on the level of mobilisation. The Army calls this ‘Intelligent Mobilisation’ without detriment to business or family. They’re also required to give more notice than that of the regular forces and will give at least nine months advance warning.

• SMEs can sign up for the Employment Recognition Scheme and sign the Corporate Covenant – something that’s already been embraced by the likes of Tesco, BT, HSBC, and KPMG.

• National qualifications and training for employees which many SMEs would otherwise not be able to afford

• Transferrable soft skills – worth more than £88 billion to the economy each year

• Contribution to national security and new levels of readiness across Britain’s soldiers, sailors and airmen

• Employees with teambuilding and leadership expertise

The 51st Infantry Brigade, whose personnel are distributed across 11 units in Scotland, needs to enlist 3,696 reservists by March 21 2019.

With figures currently sitting at 2,340, the Brigade has already reached 63 per cent of its target, with four years still to go.

But brigadier PK Harkness MBE, who commands the Army in Scotland and hosted an employer engagement event at Balbirnie House Hotel in Markinch last month, says they need SMEs.

“We’re on track,” he says. “But we need SMEs.”

“Consider amending your HR and recruitment policy and invite us in for a chat.

“Or you and your employees could try out our ‘Executive Stretch’ weekend between June 5 and 7.”

Army reserve units are looking to recruit infantry; medical and field hospital specialists; engineers; transport personnel; artillery, military police and more.

Did you know?

WITHOUT the Army’s regular and reserve forces, the UK’s energy supplies would be at risk.

Since the majority of our energy is supplied by Qatar, the Army is aligned to the Gulf States to enable transit through certain choke points in unstable countries such as Egypt, Libya and Iran.

The exercise – just to keep the UK’s energy flowing and have light at the click of a switch – necessitates three minesweepers, a warship, and a number of planes and troops on the ground.

The Army also contributes to national security – responding to the likes of terrorist threats in the UK – and has a presence in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s been instrumental in battling the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and stepped in to ease the recent ambulance and fire strikes in Britain.

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