A Swadlincote company has strengthened its pledge to help support current and ex-service personnel after it was officially recognised for the work it does to recognise the contributions made by Britain’s armed forces and provide employment for veterans.
MTMS, which provides depot maintenance services for the rail and transport industry, was this week awarded the Silver Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its ongoing commitment to upholding the values of the Armed Forces Covenant.
The company previously held the bronze award but has taken another step further by introducing a host of new measures, including offering an extra five days unpaid leave for any employees who might be called away with the Territorial Army or the UK’s other reserve forces.
It also advertises itself as a pro-military veteran employer, has pledged to give careers advice to young people attending their local army, air force or navy cadet units and also offers a free counselling service to ex-military staff who might be suffering from anxiety or need advice on overcoming other life or career issues.
MTMS, which employs 35 people and is based in Marquis Drive, was handed its silver award by Kirstie Lawrence, deputy regional employer engagement director for the East Midlands, and is now aiming to get its gold award some time during the next 12 months.
The firm currently employs three former servicemen, including Andy Tarrant, who is now a compliance and quality assurance advisor but previously served as a Royal Engineer before leaving the army in 2003.
He is also a mentor for Buildforce, which is an organisation set up to help service leavers make the transition to the civilian world.
He said: “Making the transition from life in the military to civvy street can be very difficult for many people because of the change in the way of life, the type of situations you work in and a change in status.
“Having a company that promotes itself as service leaver-friendly by displaying the silver award is a huge benefit because it shows that they understand the issues that military personnel face, whether they have just left the forces or are a reservist.”
Malcom Prentice, Managing Director of MTMS, said: “At this time of year we take time to recognise the sacrifices of Britain’s Armed Forces but at MTMS we recognise that our servicemen and women put their lives on the line to protect us 365 days of the year.
“It’s only right that we repay that by offering them the opportunities they deserve when they leave or, if they are a reservist, the extra support they need to fulfil their duty.
“In return we have benefitted greatly from the former service personnel that we have employed. They leave the forces with excellent qualifications and plenty of transferrable skills, and they’ve got a really good work ethic too.”