We are very pleased to welcome Calum Nisbet as the new chair of our Regional Employer Engagement Group (REEG) at West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (RFCA).
The REEG is a group of over 20 members made up of senior representatives of the Armed Forces, employer community and WM RFCA. The aim of the REEG is to provide a regional forum for the Armed Forces and the Employer Community, in order to share ideas and understanding, for their mutual benefit. The forum is a means to share best practices, exchange ideas and support one another to advocate on behalf of the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) and the Armed Forces community.
Members of REEG are also able to demonstrate to employers the benefit to their organisations of recruiting Reservists and veterans who bring a wealth of transferable training that develops the core skills of self-confidence, determination, teamwork, problem-solving, leadership and the ability to work under pressure. Currently the Reserve Forces make up one third of the UK’s Armed Forces; they work for businesses who truly understand the skills these individuals bring, such as communication, integrity, leadership and motivation.
We spoke to Calum to find out more about him and his role in the REEG.
“I am the Commercial Director at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. My wife and I moved to the West Midlands in 2001, initially living in Smethwick before moving to the borders of the Black Country and North Worcestershire. As such, I have been a long-suffering supporter of Worcester Warriors!
“I was invited to join the Regional Employment Engagement Group in June 2018, when I was Regional Director for the Institute of Directors. This was a great opportunity to support the Employment Engagement Team, helping them to build and maintain relationships with employers in the West Midlands region. In this role, I was able to promote the benefits of signing the Armed Forces Covenant and being engaged with the Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), recognising UK employers for their support for and commitment towards the Defence community.
“I have long been a supporter of the Armed Forces and believe that we in the business community have a lot to learn from those in active service as well as those who have transitioned out. We need to offer greater support, ensuring our communities better understand the work the forces do that affect our jobs, trade routes, security and mobility as well as creating strategic partnerships that support talented, well-motivated and highly skilled individuals find suitable employment when they need it most.
“And let’s not forget the amazing opportunities that the West Midland RFCA offers our youngsters. There are over 11,000 Cadets, from all three Services, spread throughout the West Midlands. These organisations promote teamwork, reliability and leadership with the goal of good citizenship, achieved through friendship, adventure and fun.
“I was honoured to be asked to take on the role of Chair, to continue the great work achieved by Richard Morgan. I am fortunate that my employer, the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, is incredibly engaged with the Armed Forces community and is the only Chamber in the Country to receive the ERS Gold Award. Spearheaded by my colleague Sarah Walker, who also sits on the REEG, we lead on the Chamber Military Network and run Supporting the Unsung Hero, a business start-up course and mentoring programme for Armed Forces families across the Globe.
“I believe that the members of REEG have more to give and that we can harness the skills and energy of the group to support the Engagement Team even further, developing the synergies between the Armed Forces and the business community even further. As well as ensuring more businesses sign the AFC, we need to encourage and support their journey through the Employer Recognition Scheme, moving them from Bronze to Silver to Gold, enabling them to reap the benefits available to them.”
Find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant and Employer Recognition Scheme.
Find out which companies have pledged their support and signed the Armed Forces Covenant.