The British Chambers of Commerce has today (29th March 2021) signed the Armed Forces Covenant in a virtual signing event attended by the Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Simon Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR.
The British Chambers of Commerce has pledged to the Armed Forces Covenant – a promise that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated with fairness and respect in their communities, economy and society for which they serve with their lives.
By signing the Covenant, the BCC has made a commitment to support serving personnel, service leavers, veterans and their families by fostering relationships between business and the Armed Forces, supporting employment opportunities for veterans, service spouses and partners and offering favourable employment terms to support reservist duties.
Assistant Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Simon Brooks-Ward CVO OBE TD VR said, “I am delighted that the British Chambers of Commerce have decided to sign their Armed Forces Covenant. This is a very important step which brings together the supportive pledges of many individual Chambers across the network. I welcome the key pledges which include the promotion of the Armed Forces Covenant across the Chamber Military Network, ten day’s fully paid reservist leave and support to military spouses including the ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ start-up programme. This sets a fine example to all Chambers and their membership. Thank you, British Chambers of Commerce, for your support.”
To date more than 6500 organisations have signed the Armed Forces Covenant including businesses and charities nationwide. The British Chamber’s covenant pledge is made in support of the Chamber Military Network a unique project (funded by the Forces in Mind Trust) which helps Chambers, and their members undertake the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant and deliver their employment pledges as part of the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said, “BCC is proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, and to pledge to the whole defence community whether serving, veteran, reservist or family member that we will do all we can to ensure they are treated fairly and without disadvantage. Over the years, I have seen just how much the Armed Forces community contributes to business, both as employees that bring a wealth of skills, experience, and innovation, and as entrepreneurs driving forward our economy.
The British Chambers of Commerce and the Chamber Military Network are well-placed to support the Armed Forces Covenant, to deepen links between the business and defence communities. Our unique position helping British businesses in every region and nation and across the globe means we can work together with the Chamber Military Network to foster relationships, dispel myths, and support service people and their families.”
The Armed Forces Covenant
Since 2013, thousands of companies across the UK have publicly pledged their support to the armed forces community by signing the Armed Forces Covenant.
This is a voluntary pledge and helps build a two-way relationship between businesses and Defence, helping to raise awareness of the immense contribution that those who serve, or who have served, and their families, make to everything we do. Businesses may write their own pledges, but they must include two core statements:
• No member of the Armed Forces 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 injured or bereaved Armed Forces personnel and their families.
Each organisation is also encouraged to offer support in ways appropriate to their situation and capacity, with the covenant document including examples of other pledges they can commit to.
Chamber Military Network
Chamber Military Network is the first project of its type to be funded by the Forces in Mind Trust and is fully supported by Defence Relationship Management and the British Chamber of Commerce. The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is the project’s delivery agent who work together with British Chamber’s their business members, Reserve Forces and Cadets Association and the wider Armed Forces Community to encourage the signing and carrying out of Armed Forces covenant pledge commitments.
About British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) represents and campaigns for business. Our roots are local, but our reach is global. We’re owned by, and work for, a network of Chambers of Commerce that champion and support our members across the UK and in countries and markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk
Steve Partridge – Head of Media and Communications
+44 (0) 7825 746812
Mark McVitie – Press and Communications Officer
+44 (0) 7772 910507