Institute of Directors Suffolk join forces with Defence

Recently, business leaders from across Suffolk, had the opportunity to visit Flying Station Wattisham and enjoy a networking breakfast run in conjunction with the Institute of Directors Suffolk.

More than 70 people from a variety of local businesses and sectors, were encouraged by Elizabeth Pearce, chair of the Suffolk branch, to discover how partnering with Defence can benefit their business and employees.

Ministry of Defence Regional Employer Engagement Director, Kristina Carrington welcomed the Institute of Directors to the event, thanking them for their support. “Together, we can provide opportunity and guidance to business leaders and military personnel looking to propel their companies and careers.”

The event offered guests an opportunity to hear first-hand from Lieutenant Colonel Marcus Brown, Commanding Officer of 6 Regiment Army Air Corps who explained the varying roles within 6 AAC and the benefits associated with Reserve Service. He highlighted how organisations would benefit from employing experienced, productive individuals that had been exposed to a diverse community and travelled extensively.

Guests were then encouraged to consider supporting Defence People by pledging their support under the Armed Forces Covenant and were witness to Adrian Dodds, Joint Managing Director of Sackers Scrap Metal and Waste Recycling Company start their Partnering with Defence Journey by co-signing their Pledge with Lt Col Marcus Brown. 

Regional Employer Engagement Director, Kristina Carrington explained how employers can get involved and pledge their support to the Armed Forces Community and having signed the Covenant, there is a clear progression through the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme encompassing Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Adrian said “We’re pleased to get the bronze award, however we’re aiming to achieve the silver award as it means a lot to us to support service personnel and consciously continue to do so.  Our experience has been that they are usually highly skilled and can bring some great attributes to any business.  Wattisham is Suffolk based and we’re a growing Suffolk business, so why not look at skilled service personnel looking to change to civilian life? Even the reservist gets £8k worth of training from the military whilst they are in employment so I can’t see why any business wouldn’t want to explore this opportunity.”

Finishing off the morning, guests were invited into one of the main aircraft hangers to see the impressive Apache helicopters and listen to a talk from one of the pilots. Guests were awestruck by the £35 million piece of equipment and had the opportunity to ask questions and look inside the cockpit.

Reflecting on the day, Elizabeth said; “We found out about opportunities for businesses to get involved as volunteers or reservists. It is essential that businesses provide opportunities for people, when they came out of military service, to move into civilian employment. For staff it can be rewarding and it is very much about skills development. They also talked about local cadet forces and how businesses can support them. It is a way of putting something back into the community, which a lot of people want to do. For some it is about volunteering and corporate social responsibility.”

To start your Partnering with Defence Journey contact Kristina Carrington



01245 244817 or 07920 194138


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