KMF Group and Sparta Global are the latest firms to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant and did so at an Employer Engagement afternoon tea event hosted by our Association.

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

The event was held at Aston Hall, and supported by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC), who are Silver Employer Recognition Scheme Award holders; a recognition scheme for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence.

Steve Allen, vice-president of GBCC, attended and spoke at the event – which had representatives from 15 businesses across the West Midlands.

West Midland RFCA Chief Executive, Colonel Richard Maybery, also spoke to delegates and welcomed the two new signatories to the covenant.

He said: “I’m really delighted that Sparta Global and KMF Group are here to sign the Armed Forces Covenant.

“The Armed Forces Covenant is what we use as the basis of our engagement, and it is an extremely useful tool to build strong relationships between businesses and Defence.

“The Covenant is a great way to establish relationships which we can then develop with signatories and particularly if firms want to get onto the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.”

Commander Stephen Henaghen, of the Royal Navy, signed KMF Group’s and Sparta Global’s Armed Forces Covenants, acting as the Ministry of Defence’s signatory on the covenants.

After signing the covenants, Commander Henaghen, Deputy Naval Regional Commander for Wales and Western England, spoke to delegates about the history of the Armed Forces Covenant and the importance of the West Midlands for the Armed Forces.

He said: “The term Covenant relates to the promise that members of the Armed Forces, historically the Army, make to be called upon to make personal sacrifices, including the ultimate sacrifice, in service of the nation.

“In putting the needs of the nation before their own, members of the Armed Forces forego the rights afforded to wider society.

“It seemed wholly appropriate then that at its inception the word Covenant was used, hence the Armed Forces Covenant.

“The West Midlands has been very rich pickings historically and still today for the Armed Forces.

“Many of the people that join here return to the West Midlands on completion and gain employment here.

“One of the reasons for that is, is that many of the components for the large equipment that supports the military across the whole front is actually manufactured here in the West Midlands. So there is a big heartland for recruiting here.”

West Midland RFCA is one of 13 Reserves’ and Cadets’ Associations across the UK.

The associations came into existence at the same time as the Territorial Army in 1908, and our role is to promote and support Reserves and Cadets in the West Midlands and surrounding counties, and boost awareness of the Armed Forces.

For more information about the Armed Forces Covenant or how your business can partner with Defence, please visit our web page here.