BT chief visits reservists in Basra

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Fig_11, Jun 5, 2007.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Good on Sir Chris for getting out the office to show his support! Also heard him on the Today prog on R4.


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uklatest/story/0,,-6684449,00.html

    BT chief visits reservists in Basra
    Press Association
    Tuesday June 5, 2007 7:18 AM


    The chairman of BT is visiting Iraq on Tuesday to show his support for reservist troops from his firm on active service in the troubled country.

    Sir Christopher Bland will meet BT telecommunications experts deployed to Basra, southern Iraq, with 81 Signal Squadron.

    His trip to the Middle East is designed to encourage other employers, both private and public, to pledge their backing for the UK's volunteer forces.

    SaBRE (Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers), which is running the campaign, wants all British companies to draw up written policies on reservists.

    Since January 2003 more than 13,000 reservists have been called up for full-time service in Iraq or Afghanistan - six of whom have been killed.

    Two Territorial Army soldiers have received the military cross, the second highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy after the Victoria Cross, for their bravery in Iraq.

    There are currently 41,000 people in the four reserve forces, the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

    Sir Christopher said: "These men and women serve alongside their colleagues in the regular forces with courage and dedication, often at considerable personal sacrifice.

    "They are a vital part of the nation's armed forces and deserve the support of their employers every step of the way. We at BT admire their commitment and will continue to support all current and future employees in the reserve forces."

    Patrick Snowball, chief executive of insurance giant Norwich Union, is also meeting reservists in Basra on Tuesday.

    © Copyright Press Association Ltd 2007, All Rights Reserved
     
  2. edited for mongness
     
  3. Good on a CEO to go out and visit his employees.

    I hope that if he didnt before he now realises what reservists bring to a workforce. I know form SABRE that these events are had to organise and alot of hard work goes in to it. And they try to push it more and more especially at the APT events.
     
  4. Good for him.

    My CO couldn't even be arrsed to visit me.
     
  5. And the chief exec of Norwich Union was on Radio 5 this morning also on the trip to Basra
     
  6. When I worked at BT, Sir Chris asked to see my pal and I just after we got back from TELIC 2.

    We were ushered into his rather modest office at The Big House in Newgate Street (via the executive lift, no less). We were there for about 40 minutes, including tea and biscuits. He was interested in what we did, what support we had and how we were fitting back in.

    He's a great guy, charming, and a real gentleman. He's been a good and faithful friend of the TA and Reserves.

    He'll be missed from BT when he leaves in a few weeks time.
     
  7. Just found this on the Norwich Evening News site.


    Ex NU man out in Iraq

    KIM BRISCOE
    05 June 2007 09:23

    The former boss of Norwich Union was visiting Iraq today as part of a drive to encourage employers to allow their staff to serve as reservist troops in troubled countries.

    Patrick Snowball was meeting reservists in Basra in a trip designed to encourage firms, both private and public, to pledge their backing for the UK's volunteer forces.

    SaBRE (Supporting Britain's Reservists and Employers), which is running the campaign, also wants all British companies to draw up written policies on reservists.

    Since January 2003 more than 13,000 reservists have been called up for full-time service in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Six of these have sadly been killed, but two Territorial Army soldiers have received the military cross, the second highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy after the Victoria Cross, for their bravery in Iraq.

    There are currently 41,000 people in the four reserve forces, the Territorial Army, Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force.

    Mr Snowball, who recently left his job as group executive director of NU's parent company Aviva UK, which meant he was the boss at NU, said there were currently around a dozen reservists from the Norwich firm serving in Afghanistan.

    He said: “It's absolutely vital if you look at the fact that currently six per cent of the troops in theatre are reservists.

    “They are an integral part of the services out here and in Afghanistan and therefore it is absolutely vital particularly for large employers to give as much support and encouragement as possible to people who are deciding to join or who have already joined the reserve forces.

    “Sadly, sometimes good intent at boardroom level doesn't translate into support on the shop floor.

    “An employer's position should be spelt out in writing and available for all staff to consult.”

    More than 100 of Britain's largest companies, together employing over 2.5 million people, have already signed up for the SaBRE campaign.

    Over three-quarters of the firms further support their reservists by giving them extra time off work for military training. In return employers can apply for financial assistance to cover any costs they incur in someone being called up.

    Wesley Gould, of Upper Breckland Road, New Costessey, is currently serving in Afghanistan with the Territorial Army, posted to the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment's mortar platoon.

    The 39-year-old is hoping to return to Norfolk this month for two weeks to his new-born daughter Keira for the first time.

    Wife Jenna Gould, 25, who gave birth to 6lb 6oz Keira on Tuesday, May 22, said: “I think that companies should be supporting them and letting them go out there.

    “My husband was already working full-time for the TA before he went out, so an employer wasn't an issue, but I know from the experiences of other people that it is beneficial to have a supportive company behind you.”

    The chairman of BT was also visiting Iraq. Sir Christopher Bland will meet BT telecommunications experts deployed to Basra, with 81 Signal Squadron.

    Sir Christopher said: “These men and women serve alongside their colleagues in the regular forces with courage and dedication, often at considerable personal sacrifice.”
     
  8. IIRC he's ex TA himself.
     
  9. Well done these CEOs for both their stance and their actions.

    However...

    How many of the 13,000 or 41,000 quoted above are employed by the 100 companies signed up to SaBRE?

    No one knows - not even SaBRE themselves.
     

  10. B_s -

    I'd rather take the glass-half-full view rather than the half-empty one.

    100 companies employing 2.5m people seems a pretty good start to me. Credit to sabre for getting them to make a public stand.
     
  11. msr

    msr LE

    [quote="crossed_axes
    I'd rather take the glass-half-full view rather than the half-empty one.

    100 companies employing 2.5m people seems a pretty good start to me. Credit to sabre for getting them to make a public stand.[/quote]

    I am afraid I am with BS on this. There are no metrics available, either from companies or from SaBRE, so we simply have no idea how helpful this is.

    It is also easy for companies the size of BT and NU to release staff. Not so for these: There were an estimated 4.3 million businesses in the UK at the start of 2005. The vast majority of these (99%) were small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) and they provided 47% of the UK private sector employment and 36% of turnover. (Source: http://www.dti.gov.uk/bbf/small-business/research-and-statistics/statistics/page38573.html)

    It is this kind of 'finger in the air' guesswork as to financial or other benefit which allows the public sector to waste so much of our taxes.

    msr
     
  12. But not so easy for the MOD, the small org that it is.

    Of the people I know had mobilisations cancelled, 40% were from MOD contractors. Guess the MOD should be withdrawn from SABRE's supportive employers list
     
  13. National Service I think.

    As mentioned in the previous post, Sir Christopher is on record several times over the past few years about supporting the reservists in BT (and not just those in 81 Sig Sqn).

    I understand he's even fronted some internal recruiting videos, right in front of interviews with some serving soldiers - showing that support comes from the top, all that kind of thing.
     
  14. The bold says it all. The Board may have great intentions, it looks good when they chat to politicians etc, but if they're not translating that into support for the manager who is losing his guys to the TA, then it remains no more than PR.
     
  15. Good effort. Appreciated by those on the ground I'm sure. There should be more of this, especially from big companies that can afford it.