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08 September 2016

FSB celebrates our Reservists

With today being national Reserves Day FSB would like to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution made by all those who give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces. Many of these troops are also highly valued employees of small businesses or indeed small business owners themselves.

“Today we celebrate the tremendous commitment of our men and women who balance their own careers with military service. They give up their own time, away from family and friends, to serve our country. The skills they develop are diverse and often invaluable. Reservists are an important part of the economy and it would be fantastic to see more businesses supporting our troops,” said Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman.

Recent FSB research found smaller businesses are increasingly positive about hiring members of the armed forces, with half (49%) of firms saying they would actively consider taking on a reservist. However, the research also revealed a clear preference among smaller firms for hiring service leavers over reservists.

Two out of three (65%) small firms agreed that the skills and knowledge reservists gain during their time in the armed forces are valuable to a business. There was also wide recognition from over half (54%) of small firms that reservists bring unique experience and insight to businesses. But the research also found that three in five businesses (60%) would struggle to cope if a reservist they employed was called up for duty.

The Government has made good progress towards encouraging employers to take on reservists. Assisting small businesses to do so not only supports deserving and highly skilled individuals, but also strengthens local economies and helps to address the skills shortage faced by many industries.

“Reservists often bring unique skills and qualities to the workplace, especially around leadership and management. We cannot afford to let this talent go to waste. The Ministry of Defence should continue to engage with small firms to understand and address their concerns and facilitate more reservists into employment,”
Mike Cherry added.