College signs Armed Forces Covenant

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Gateshead College’s Principal and Chief Executive, David Alexander signing the Covenant along with Lt Col Andy Black on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

Gateshead College has signed an official pledge to become a Forces Friendly employer and support those serving in the armed forces, veterans and their families.

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise to acknowledge and understand that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, should be treated with fairness and respect in the communities, economy and society they serve.

Gateshead College’s Principal and Chief Executive, David Alexander, joined Armed Forces representatives at a ceremony to sign the Covenant along with Lt Col Andy Black on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

David said: “In signing the Armed Forces Covenant we are formalising Gateshead College’s commitment to ensure serving personnel, veterans and their families are not only treated fairly but have access to ongoing support. This is an important pledge and highlights our commitment to the many thousands of people who have served and continue to serve our country.”

The skills and experience of Armed Forces personnel can often be transferable to a variety of roles within further education.

The Covenant is entering its 10th year and has now been signed by 7,000 businesses, both large and small. The Government is committed to enshrining the Armed Forces Covenant into law through the Armed Forces Bill, which is currently being debated in Parliament.

Leo Docherty, Minister for Defence People and Veterans said: “Our service personnel make an immense sacrifice for this country, and the Armed Forces Covenant is at the heart of our pledge to ensure they are treated with fairness and respect.

“Over the past year we’ve provided a cash boost for family accommodation, introduced free breakfast and after school clubs for military children and enhanced employment opportunities for veterans with our guaranteed interview scheme.

“7,000 signatories is an important milestone and I’m determined we do all we can to ensure our people are not disadvantaged by their service.”

As part of its Covenant, Gateshead College pledges to ensure the armed forces community do not face disadvantage; to offer, where feasible, flexibility in granting leave for Service spouses and partners before, during and after a partner’s deployment; and to support employees who choose to be members of the reserve forces, including accommodating their training and deployment where possible.

Thu Aug 18 2022