Businesses are being encouraged to show their support for reservist employees to mark National Reserves Day today.
Reserves Day is an opportunity for both reservists across the UK to show their commitment and employers to recognise and celebrate the vital contribution that their reservist employees make to the UK Armed Forces, their communities and the civilian workplace.
Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, so they are ready to serve as part of the military, whenever they are needed.
They make up around 14 per cent of the nation’s total defence force.
Coun Ed Malcolm, chairman of South Tyneside’s Armed Forces Forum, said: “Our reservists show great dedication, professionalism and commitment to serving their country and for that we pay tribute.
“We are encouraging South Tyneside businesses to add their support to reservists and the armed forces by signing the Armed Forces Services Community Covenant as well as joining the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme.”
South Tyneside Council’s reservist employees are given time away from work to carry out their military training with employment protection measures in place should they be mobilised.
The Council’s housing management partner, South Tyneside Homes, is also currently developing a policy to support staff who are, or want to become, a reservist.
Captain James Foster, of 205 Battery, Royal Artillery, based at Northfields Gardens, South Shields, said: “The support of the employer is critical in the Reservists career and the Regiment remains very grateful for the continued endeavours of the council to highlight this need and drive this message forward.”
One reservist who currently works at South Tyneside Council is Kyle Magee, a former regular with the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
Kyle became a reservist in January 2016, joining the 201 Field Hospital as a Combat Medical Technician.
Kyle, Armed Forces Community Outreach Worker, said: “Balancing civilian life and a career is not easy. It makes all the difference to have an employer who understands the role of a reservist, what is involved and who will support you whether you are at work, going through training or out on deployment.”
To find out more about joining the Reserves Forces, visit www.army.mod.uk/belong/reserve