Nearly 100 Welsh employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant to formally pledge their support to past and present Service Personnel.
Many of them have personal reasons for solidifying their status as a Forces Friendly business and they are keen to help the families who have served their country.
There are also practical benefits that can lead to the improvement of businesses, including the increased access to a highly skilled talent pool of potential recruits in the form of veterans and Reserves.
Just over a year ago, a Pontypridd-based coach company joined the wide ranging network of signatories and accelerated their support of the Armed Forces community in to top gear.
Edwards Coaches met with members of Third Battalion The Royal Welsh, including the late goat mascot Lance Corporal Shenkin III, in March 2017 to sign the Armed Forces Covenant at Maindy Barracks in Cardiff.
Jason Edwards FCILT, Managing Director of Edwards Coaches, said:
“Over the years, many veterans have worked with us and we’ve long considered ourselves as a Forces Friendly business. We were delighted to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and formalising our support has opened opportunities for us to hire more veterans.
“During the last year, we have developed a relationship with The Career Transition Partnership (CTP), who are the Ministry of Defence’s official Armed Forces Resettlement provider. Ex-Service Personnel are used to working in intense and complex scenarios and their decision making is a strength that can boost any business.
“Servicemen and women have made tremendous sacrifices for us and in this time, many have gained transferable skills and industry recognised qualifications. For example, a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driving license can be gained with the Royal Logistic Corps and it’s an area relevant to our business.
“Service leavers and Reserves are also very suitable for other important roles in our business, such as; engineering, logistics, systems, HR, accounts, Health & Safety and sales. We provide transport to tens of thousands of people every day and we’re proud that many people in our workforce are also members of the Armed Forces community.”
Days before signing the Armed Forces Covenant, Edwards Coaches were awarded a multi-million pound contract by National Express. They recognised veterans as a pool of potential employees and introduced a guaranteed interview policy, which has been a successful source of recruitment for the business.
Edwards Coaches already employed a number of service leavers in a variety of roles which include, driving, engineering and health and safety. The award winning, family run business is one of Wales’ leading premier tour operators with a history that dates back to 1925. They have satellite depots in Abercynon, Wattstown, Barry, Newport, Cardiff, Llanelli and a full maintenance facility in Llansamlet, Swansea.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly and have the same access to services and products as any other citizen. Click here to learn more.