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Cumbria Chamber’s Power 40 meet for tour of BAE Systems and talk on Armed Forces Covenant

The Power 40’s first event of 2023 took place on Wednesday 8th February in Barrow, at BAE Systems’ Submarines site, followed by dinner at Abbey House Hotel and presentations around the Armed Forces Covenant.
Cumbria Chamber’s Power 40 meet for tour of BAE Systems and talk on Armed Forces Covenant

Participants gathered at Abbey House in the afternoon before visiting BAE Systems for a tour of some of its facilities.

A presentation from Janet Garner, Head of HR at BAE Systems, outlined the business’ plans and support for the wider community, including the recruitment of 800 apprentices this year alone and work to develop the new University of Cumbria Barrow Campus.

Janet said: “We were delighted to welcome the Cumbria Chamber Power 40 members to our site, to not only view the amazing work taking place to deliver our submarine programmes, but also to hear about our plans for the future and how this will positively impact the local community.”

The Armed Forces Covenant speakers all gave fascinating insights into their own experiences in the military and on the wealth of skills possessed by veterans which make them an asset to businesses in a wide range of sectors.

The talk was led by Gary Oakford of the North West Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, who introduced Richard Watson, Deputy EOD Superintendent at James Fisher Subtech, Teresa Griffiths, Chair of North Cumbria Integrated Care Foundation Trust, and Royal Navy Commander Commodore Phil Waterhouse.

Gary said: “The Armed Forces Covenant is a public declaration of active support for those that serve. I am delighted to be supporting Cumbria Chamber of Commerce and a range of other partners across the county.

Companies signing the Covenant and joining the Employer Recognition Scheme recognise the value of supporting the Armed Forces, not just from a commercial or community perspective, but also because they see the valuable contribution of veterans, reservists and cadets to their business.

On behalf of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence, I would like to thank the Chamber for their support and BAE systems for hosting our delegation.”

Cumbria Chamber MD, Suzanne Caldwell, said: “We were keen to do something highlighting the Armed Forces Covenant and encouraging others to sign up, not least because of the real, positive benefits to business of recruiting veterans and services family members and supporting veterans, reservists and forces families within their teams. We renewed and strengthened our Covenant in June 2021, and we’re currently working towards our Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award.

Our Power 40 group for leaders of Cumbria’s bigger and most influential businesses seemed the obvious place to start, with a number of Covenant signatories among the group keen to encourage others. We’re delighted by the response on the night.

We’ll be running another event later in the year focussed on smaller businesses. We’ve also got a series of more great Power 40 events in the pipeline!”

Businesses wanting to find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant can do so by contacting Cumbria Chamber via info@cumbriachamber.co.uk or call 0845 226 0040.


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