Reserves Day 2020

Today (24 June) we celebrate Reserves Day, in recognition of the valuable contribution Reservists make to our Armed Forces. As part of this year’s celebrations we caught up with Victoria Lomas, Head of People, about Onward’s continued commitment to the armed forces community.

Why investing your support with the Armed Forces covenant is the best decision you can make

We started our journey working with the Armed Forces Covenant in 2017 and immediately recognised the scope of opportunities available to us.

Those leaving the Armed Forces Community or a Reservist can offer a wealth of transferable skills and experience to any workplace.  It’s not just their teamwork, self-confidence, and leadership qualities but they have undergone training to develop resourcefulness, perseverance and the ability to improvise in unknown situations.  All the right qualities that many employers look for when recruiting new talent.

We took the opportunity to engage with the MOD’s Regional Employer Engagement Director Chris Ashworth so we could learn more, Chris continues to support us on our journey to be an a forces friendly organsiation.

In their annual MOD Employer Attitude Research, 89% agreed that Reservists are an asset to Britain’s workforce, with 2/3rds of Employers agreeing that having employees who are members of the Armed Forces community provide their business with more advantages.

Our journey involved our current employees undertaking e-learning to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Community, hearing their stories directly to understand their challenges and how we can support their next chapter outside of the Forces family.

We developed a clear HR approach with dedicated inclusive policies to provide paid time for reservist duties and continuous support to enable employees to manage both their commitments.

All our vacancies are advertised with the Career Transition Partnership and we hope to continue to raise the profile of the Onward as an employer of choice within the Armed Forces Community.  We have a diverse range of jobs and see many different types of people working in housing and there is definitely a place for the talented workforce of the Armed Forces.

Our enthusiasm paid off when we were awarded the Silver Employer Recognition Award in 2019 and we will continue to keep the support going.

We know their commitment and dedication is incredible so what’s stopping more employers wanting to proudly show off their support to those who serve.

If you’re an organisation embarking on the Employee Recognition Scheme and would like peer mentor support, please contact our Armed Forces lead Sam Haslam