Norse Group has further cemented its commitment to supporting people leaving the armed forces into new careers, aiming to become an ‘employer of choice’ for veterans and service families.
Recognising the hugely positive role ex-Forces staff already fulfil within its services – and as part of its plan to further develop its workforce post pandemic – Norse Group signed the Ministry of Defence Armed Forces Covenant this month.
Dean Wetteland, Norse Group Chief Executive Officer, explained that harnessing the valuable skills, abilities, and experience of highly trained ex-Forces people has already proved to be invaluable.
The Group employs around 10,000 people up and down the country, working across both public and commercial sectors. Many of its frontline services are provided in partnership with local authorities, including those rolled out at speed to support the Covid-response.
This has included supporting local public health teams mass roll out of PPE and emergency food parcels, developing responsive lateral flow testing teams, and Covid vaccination mobile services.
Meanwhile, the ‘day job’ continued in keeping household waste collections running, hundreds of miles of public highways maintained, care homes running safely and helping to keep hundreds of schools open and safe, and children and staff catered for.
Dean said: “Throughout the pandemic we learned just how responsive and resilient your business needs to be in times of severe challenge, especially with the extensive range of services we provide which communities really depend upon.
“Every day we faced huge logistical challenges and found ourselves making full use of the skills of ex-Forces staff who already work within Norse to help us meet those challenges head on.
“They brought their exceptional expertise into play, working with our operational managers to ensure we continued to deliver essential frontline services, supporting local communities throughout, while keeping our staff safe too.
“We are really proud of that achievement and it demonstrated the huge strength of having those skills and values in our workforce that we want to build upon.”
While divisions within Norse have previously signed the covenant, this is the first time the whole Group has made this important commitment, pledging to help armed forces personnel make a successful transition into civilian employment.
Norse Group’s Head of Safety, Health, Environmental and Quality (SHEQ), Roger Smith – a former Warrant Officer Class 1 in the British Army – is spearheading Norse’s covenant commitment, supported by other ex-Forces colleagues and Reservists.
“At Norse, our ethos is one of serving local communities and improving lives. An important part of those communities are military families.
“Renewing and reaffirming our covenant commitment is a significant step, and not one we take lightly. As well as the obvious benefits to our business, we can play an important role in supporting service personnel as they transition into civvy street by offering exciting career opportunities.
“Our pledge also commits us to supporting the employment of Service spouses and partners, and to do our best to be flexible to any special needs this might present – such as urgent leave around times of deployment.
“As ex-Forces myself, I am passionate about supporting this and about championing this initiative within the Group.”
Under the covenant, Norse Group has committed to:
- Promote itself as an armed forces friendly organisation
- Support the employment of veterans and work with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) to establish an employment pathway for Service leavers
- Support the employment of Service spouses and partners
- Endeavour to offer a degree of flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment
- Support employees who choose to be members of the Reserve forces, accommodating their training and deployment where possible
- Offer support to cadet units in local communities or schools
- Support Armed Forces Day
To date, more than 6,000 businesses and organisations across the UK have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, making a real difference to those who have and continue to serve, as well as their families.
If you are an armed forces veteran, a Reservist, or the spouse / partner of serving personnel you might be interested in a role with Norse Group. Please visit: www.norsegroup.co.uk/careers/