North East Automotive Alliance is the First Automotive Cluster to Sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant

Following attendance at the inaugural North of England Region Professional Bodies Armed Forces Brunch Meeting, the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has pledged to be an Armed Forces friendly organisation.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The North East continues to see growth in the number of organisations signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant, and progressing on to the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, but it is evident there are still gaps in the knowledge that some of those organisations in the early stages of Defence Engagement have.

To close this knowledge gap within the automotive sector, the NEAA has become an established partner and will act as a mentor to ensure that North East businesses become more engaged and look after talent from the Armed Forces.

At the North of England Region Professional Bodies Armed Forces Brunch Meeting on 26 November 2018 at Ramside Hall Hotel, the CEO of the NEAA, Paul Butler, signed the Armed Forces Covenant, and with this, pledges to be an Armed Forces friendly organisation and the first automotive cluster to support this initiative. 2,500 businesses have signed the covenant since it was launched in 2011, including member companies Komatsu, Arlington Automotive, University of Sunderland, Northumbria University Newcastle, Middlesbrough College, Teesside University and the Institute of Supply Chain Management (IoSCM).

The NEAA would like each of its 350 cluster participants to also become Armed Forces friendly employers, benefitting from the wide range of unique skills and experiences that Reservists, Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Military Spouses, Service Leavers and veterans can bring to an organisation. Employing Armed Forces community members can help diversify the talent within a workforce.

Paul Butler said: “The NEAA commit to honour the Armed Forces Covenant and support the Armed Forces Community. With the growing skills gap developing in the North East automotive sector across all levels, we need to look beyond the current talent pool and work with local authorities, providers and employers to see where Service Leavers, Cadets and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Military Spouses, Reservists and veterans can support their business needs.”

The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by:

  • Businesses of all sizes
  • Charitable organisations
  • Local authorities
  • Public sector organisations

Darren Rhodes, MOD Regional Employer Engagement Director said: “The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched to recognise those employers who support Defence People objectives and encourage others to exhibit the same behaviours. Defence is keen to provide recognition to those employers that are going above and beyond the call of duty in supporting our People.

“Employers can reap real rewards from employing military personnel such as Reservists and Service Leavers, acquiring a portfolio of skills and behaviours that are beneficial in a modern working environment. Being recognised as Forces Friendly means being attractive to Reservists and Service Leavers who may aspire to work in your sector. These are highly skilled, well-trained professionals who can add real value to your business.”

Please contact the MOD Regional Employer Engagement Director, Darren Rhodes on ne-reed@rfca.mod.uk to discuss this further and join the growing list of companies who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant.