Partnering with Defence Conference demonstrates enthusiasm of employers to support the Armed Forces

The Ministry of Defence hosted its fifth annual Partnering with Defence Conference on Thursday (March 14th), bringing together employers that have pledged their support to the Armed Forces and MOD representatives.

The Chief of Defence People, Lt Gen Richard Nugee, opened the conference highlighting the value - to military and civilian employers alike - of the ‘growth generation’ - the people who have been through great adversity on the battlefield and come out stronger. Natalie Gardner demonstrated how a military and civilian career can grow hand in hand whilst inspirational talks came from Shaun Stocker and Luke Sinnott, both injured in Afghanistan in 2010. Sara Baade introduced the new Forces Families jobs website which will be launching in September and Air Cdre Tim Neal-Hopes spoke about the shared vulnerabilities of cyber threat to both the military and employers.

In the break-out sessions, SMJCS’s chairman, General Sir Nick Parker led a discussion about how we might apply lessons to the UK from good practice in the US. The discussion was informed by presentations by John Edelman, MD of Global Engagement and CSR at Edelman and Michelle Osbourne of JP Morgan. They shared key insights from collaborative, employer-led initiatives in the US, along with the tools and processes found to be of value. Discussion centred around the potential value of similar public-private partnerships for the UK.

Managing Director, Andrew Jackson was also in attendance on the day. Speaking about the event, he said: “The conference demonstrated the enthusiasm of employers to support the Armed Forces through their various programmes. Employers responded very positively to talk of collaborative employer-led projects in the UK, such as a public-private skills partnership. It was also a good opportunity to meet other members of the ‘Gold Alumni Association’ to discuss collaborative working in the regions.”