Serco has been awarded Gold by the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) for its outstanding support and commitment to the Armed Forces. The company is one of only 15 employers to win this prestigious accolade, part of the 2015 Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme
Serco has worked alongside the MOD for over 50 years providing critical defence support services and was one of the first signatories to the Corporate Covenant in October 2013. The company currently employs around 2,500 veterans and has over 125 reservists, sponsored reservists and adult cadet instructors working across its UK business.
Over the past two years, Serco has worked hard to raise internal awareness of its support for the Armed Forces. For example, by creating new posters and guidance for employees and managers about being a reservist, as well as establishing new forums to bring together those who already volunteer so they can share their experiences and support others.
L/Cpl Shayne Leach is a refuse vehicle driver working for Serco’s environmental services contract in Sandwell, West Midlands and volunteers in the 167 Catering Support Regiment of the Royal Logistic Corps. He said: “If I hadn’t joined the reservists, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s given me a good mind to go further in life. Serco are really supportive; as well as 12 days paid leave to carry out my annual reservist training, they also organised a great celebration for Armed Forces Day earlier this year.”
Joanne Chambers manages child maintenance cases for Serco in Bolton and is also a Cadet Instructor - part of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association. She said: “We’re not wannabe soldiers - we want to give something back to our community. I support children through my day job, but this gives me the chance to work directly with young people and help them to transform their lives through learning new skills and building their confidence. It can sometimes be challenging to balance work with the time needed to volunteer, but Serco are flexible and supportive.”
Chris Sinclair is a Redistribution Operative on Serco’s London Cycle Hire contract and has spent five years in the reserves as an Army Chef with the London Regiment. He said: “Becoming a reservist is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I have gained so many qualifications and experience which I can use back in my civilian life and in my job every day.”
Kevin Craven, Chief Executive for Serco’s Central Government business commented: “Serco has supported the MOD for over 50 years so has a unique appreciation and respect for the sacrifice that our servicemen and women make to this country, and the positive contribution they continue to make once they have left the service to our business and in the wider community. I am immensely proud that Serco has been recognised for its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces, which is both good for business and the country. Our own research shows that people who volunteer to become reservists develop complementary skills and capabilities that can help them be more successful at work.”
Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon added: “The support that these companies provide is making a real difference to our armed forces community. Whether allowing reservists the time to train or supporting veterans and spouses, they embody what the Armed Forces Covenant is about.”