Serco has pledged its support to the UK Armed Forces community by setting out its commitment to employing veterans and further supporting Reservists. The company, which has worked with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) for the past 50 years, formally signed the Corporate Covenant at a Downing Street reception last night.
Launched by the Government earlier this year, the Corporate Covenant is the first time businesses and charities have been given the opportunity to officially demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces. The voluntary pledge includes a core statement of commitment to two key principles, which are:
- no member of the Armed Forces community should face disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services compared to any other citizen
- in some circumstances special treatment may be appropriate, especially for the injured or bereaved
Serco has additionally made a commitment to actively recruit veterans and provide greater flexibility to staff who are Reservists by further supporting their training and deployment. Additionally, Serco has pledged to support service dependants and local cadet organisations at the many military bases at which it operates.
Serco's UK workforce currently includes around 2,500 veterans undertaking a wide range of roles within the company. Duncan Mackison, for example, Serco's Managing Director for Defence, started his career as a Royal Marines officer and completed a number of operational tours during his nine years of active service.
Serco has around 50 active Reservists, and provides over 60 Sponsored Reserves under contract to the MOD and up to 20 of these staff at any time are deployed into operational theatres as Contractors in Support of Operations (CSO). Jeremy Mooney, Communication Director for Serco UK & Europe, is one of the growing number of members of the Reserve Forces in Serco: having previously been mobilised for operational tours in the Balkans and Afghanistan, he is currently serving part-time as an Army Reserve brigadier with the 1st (UK) Armoured Division.
Serco's Andrew White added: "Serco is proud to pledge our support and commitment to the UK Armed Forces, whom we have worked alongside for the past 50 years. We are enormously grateful for the contribution that servicemen and women and their families make to this country and to our business. It is an honour to be able to give something back through offering increased employment opportunities and supporting existing and new Reservists."
Defence Minister Anna Soubry commented, "I am extremely pleased that so many companies have shown their support for the Armed Forces by signing up to the Corporate Covenant. Our Armed Forces and their families give everything to our country so it is only right that society, including businesses, recognise their tremendous contribution and sacrifice. Some of the UK's leading businesses and employers from across the country, including Serco, have come up with excellent offers, and I hope that many more will be spurred on to get behind the Corporate Covenant in any way they can."