Industry Boss supports TA on national radio

BT Chairman Sir Christopher Bland was on the today programme this morning to publicise the award of a number of medals to BT staff who have served with the TA in telecoms roles.*

He applauded the efforts that had been made and said, no matter what the security situation in Iraq overall, the contribution of these reservists in improving the conditions and infrastructure should be applauded.

He said that BT fully supported the TA and deployment and the maximum commitment (50 staff from 100,000) put them under no pressure. He said that the BBC had a similar policy and all large companies should be the same.

He acknowledged, however that the same could not be said for small companies where the impact of losing a key employee for up to 9 months could be devastating but that the appeals process was there to ensure this did not happen.

On the whole a positive TA story for the apparently coming from someone with no vested interest in promoting the TA. Only down side could be the message taken away by any company smaller than BT, and the pinch of salt that the policy of the chairman is reflected all the way down to the individual line manager.

*unable to find BT press release but if you really want you can find the interview somewhere on the R4 listen again service
Well done that man!!

I hope his support is not just reserved for his men in the TA who serve with RSigs. Looked into the possibility of transferring to them once from an infantry unit. Got there, no one seemed to ARRSED about my presence, loads of skills to bring to them in the RadOp field but a totally care free and lax bunch of sods.


My Next door neighbour is deploying with them now, they apparently didnt even take ex regs in as they thought that the rank drop would put them off. A bit of a closed shop I'm afraid!
The first part of the interview was fine, showing support for the TA, and pointing out many large companies had similar schemes, including the BBC.

The second part of the interview had me shouting at the radio though.

To blithely dismiss out of hand extra help for smaller employers because BT can afford to send 50 folk abroad out of a workforce of 100,000 was particularly galling after such a good build up.

Credit to BT for their support, but that was a chance missed to get the Govt to start thinking again about tax credits for employers and the like.
The sh1tebags I work for (but not for long) should take a leaf out of BTs book. Having learnt of my intention the join the reserve forces, I was hauled in for an interview without coffee & told in no uncertain terms what a bad carrear move it would be. Little do they know I will soon no longer have a carearr with them when I move to thier main rivals taking several clients with me in January 07.The utter,utter cnuts....

Sir Christopher did National Service with the Cav so you'd expect him to be pro-Army.

His gripe about small companies was really unhelpful though, given the number of small/medium businesses in this country. Clearly thinking with his business hat and not his shako. It;s shame we can't have it more like the US where reservists get tons of support from govt and lots of flag-waving assistance from employers (especially these days).
I have long been of the opinion that we need a UK version of the G.I. Bill, whereby regulars and reservists have financial support in further / higher education.

Most students nowadays are lumbered with a student loan upon graduation and I'm sure not many realise that three or four years in the RNR / RMR / TA / RAuxAF achieving a CO's CoE would pay off most of their student debts. Imagine if this was ameliorated just a little bit and marketed to the yuf of today as a significant benefit of military service, as it is in the U.S.

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