Pictured (L-R): Mike Sullivan, NW RFCA; Sqn Ldr Lee Rimmer, 611 Sqn RAuxAF; Lt Col Rosie Stone, HQ 42 Inf Bde & HQ NW; Gary Hodgson, Peel Ports; Cdre Gary Doyle RN, NRCNE; Howard Sloane, Peel Ports; and, Lindsay Maloney, Peel Ports.
Peel Ports has pledged its support to the Armed Forces Community, including help for former Service personnel to access training and work opportunities when they return to civilian life.
The UK-wide port operator has committed to uphold the key principles of the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant – a voluntary declaration from businesses and charitable organisations who wish to demonstrate their support for Armed Forces personnel, veterans and spouses.
Under the principles of the Corporate Covenant, Peel Ports will endeavour to aid the employment of members of the Armed Forces community within its organisation and support employees who choose to become members of the Reserve Forces by accommodating their training and deployment wherever possible. Additionally Peel Ports will look to actively encourage its apprentices when they join Peel Ports to learn more about the opportunities available with the Reserve Forces.
Earlier this month, six current apprentices from Peel Ports took part in an overnight training programme at Altcar Training Camp, in Merseyside. The exercise offered a first-hand experience of training as a Reservist, as well as helping to develop transferrable skills, such as teamwork and problem solving which are skills that are relevant during their time as an apprentice and throughout their career.
The covenant was officially signed by Peel Ports Chief Operating Officer Gary Hodgson, in the presence of Commodore Gary Doyle, Naval Regional Commander for Northern England and the Isle of Man.
It follows many months of discussions between the two organisations to establish Peel Ports’ long term commitments and build a meaningful and supportive strategy.
Mr Hodgson said: “By creating a corporate covenant, we are publically expressing our commitment to improving employment opportunities for those in the Armed Forces community and leading the way for other businesses to follow suit.
As an equal opportunities employer, it is important that we ensure the principles we have outlined are upheld across our entire group.
In recognising the commitment of our Armed Forces, we need to appreciate not only those who have lost their lives in conflict, but also those who have been returned to us and that members of the armed forces are not disadvantaged in any way”.
Group HR Director Howard Sloane added: “Peel Ports recognises the value serving personnel, veterans and military families can bring to our business. They have the ability to make a significant contribution to our teams, through the skills they have learned in their military training – skills they could potentially share with other employees when they join Peel Ports.
Supporting our employees to become Reservists also means we benefit from committed individuals who develop transferable skills through the military training they undergo. These skills can be of direct benefit to their role within Peel Ports. Decision-making, communication skills, leadership and team building are all areas where Reservists can add value to our organisation.
In return for bringing these skills to our teams, we have made a promise to provide long-term employment, as well as offering career development and training opportunities for military personnel. We look forward to developing our relationship with the MOD and Armed Forces community further, ensuring all employees are supported as fully as possible during their time working with us.”
The principles of the Armed Forces Covenant have now been put into place across Peel Ports’ network of 6 terminals and over 1100 employees.
Commodore Doyle said: “Peel Ports has demonstrated an understanding of the importance of supporting the Armed Forces and recognising that they may face unique challenges when it comes to securing full-time employment. They recognise that our people bring with them a vast array of skills, technical knowledge and a determined, values-based work ethic.
We are really looking forward to working with Peel Ports, in ensuring that those who have given so much already are supported both during their service and beyond.”