Black Country Chamber of Commerce has extended their commitment to the Armed Forces by signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant. The signing took place at RAF Museum Cosford, where Wing Commander Paul Bell, Commanding Officer of 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron RAuxAF and Adrian Wright, President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce countersigned the document.

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

The Chamber are already keen supporters of the Armed Forces and in partnership with the University of Wolverhampton deliver the Armed Forces Dependants’ Business Start-Up Programme ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’. This is a 10 month business start-up programme open to the dependants of Veterans, Reservists and serving Armed Forces personnel, at no cost, and has already been attended by more than 380 Service spouses and dependants from across the UK and Cyprus.  They have supported over 380 dependants to date and a further 360 until 2018.

Adrian Wright said: “We believe that the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant will show that it is being backed by many businesses across the Black Country. Our next step is to set up a discussion group, made up of employers that are both members of the Chamber and non-members, to discuss supporting the Armed Forces Community into business and employment.”

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce aims to raise the awareness of the skills and employability of our Armed Forces Community and to transition them into employment, business and our community within the Black Country. The discussion group will help the Chamber to achieve this aim when it is formed.

Siamha Butt, the Regional Employer Engagement Director for West Midland Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association (WMRFCA) will be continuing to support the Chamber in meeting their pledges, which include:

·       Holding events to support Armed Forces Day and be involved in other events.

·       Supporting the wider Armed Forces community into business.

·       Integrating the Armed Forces community into civilian life.

·       Sourcing appropriate business contracts in collaboration.