Sodexo supports SSAFA’s Friendly to Forces campaign

Sodexo supports SSAFA’s Friendly to Forces campaign
31/10/2019 - 05:00
Global services company Sodexo has announced its commitment to supporting SSAFA’s Friendly to Forces campaign that is aiming to change perceptions about hiring Armed Forces veterans.

Sodexo has supported the Armed Forces charity, SSAFA, for over 14 years through sponsorship, employee volunteering and fundraising for homeless veterans.

The global services company is committed to the employment of ex-armed forces personnel and their families as well as those employees who are members of the Reserves. Sodexo’s Public Service Pledge included a target to employ 200 ex-service personnel and their families.

Rachel Evans, human resources director, government & agencies at Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Sodexo is proud to support and provide employment opportunities at every level to those leaving the military. SSAFA’s latest campaign is a positive step in encouraging businesses to look at the skills ex-service men and women can offer.

“As an employer we recognise the value, knowledge, talent, qualities and skills that ex-service personnel and their families bring to our organisation. We also understand the challenges they encounter when transitioning from military into civilian life and are currently developing an employee support network specifically aimed at employees with a military background and reservists.”

Research published by SSAFA found British ex-service personnel struggle to find work due to mental health stigma. According to the research almost half of UK employers (46%) worry about hiring a service leaver in case they have mental health issues and one third of recruiters stated they feel reluctant to hire veterans.

The research also found skills associated with veterans included being a team player (57%), a problem solver (42%) and having quick thinking (42%).   

James Grant, head of corporate fundraising and events at SSAFA added: "One of the many selling points of joining the Armed Forces is learning skills that can be easily transferred into civilian life. Sadly, some businesses still don’t recognise these skills and service leavers are being discriminated against.

“We see that there’s also a false perception over Armed Forces personnel suffering from mental health issues. Mental health is a common condition affecting one in four people every year – service leaver or not.

 “A career in service to our country should always be met with pride and gratitude. That’s why we have launched our Friendly to Forces campaign, to challenge all businesses to do better when hiring service leavers.”

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