An armed forces event in Workington by the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce drew a crowd of 50.

The commerce’s Armed Forces Event partnered with the North West Reserve Forces’, Cadets’ Association and Energus.

Organised last week, the occasion saw local businesses and representatives from the Armed Forces gather for a series of dialogues on the Armed Forces Covenant and ways to enhance support for the armed forces community.

Jane Moorby, marketing director at Oxley Developments, commented on the value brought by ex-service personnel to her company: "As a defence manufacturer, having a veteran there who can actually tell you how a component works in real terms is extremely valuable."

News and Star: The audience also heard from local businesses including BEC, BAE Systems and Oxley Developments

Commenting on the benefits to businesses of employing ex-service personnel and reservists, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Fraser said: "The qualities fostered by military service of selfless commitment, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, discipline and courage, will no doubt resonate within your own organisations."

Captain Mark Hankey MBE made a presentation on his career as a media operations specialist in the Royal Navy.

Reflecting on his experience working across over 20 countries and coordinating media during military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Captain Hankey's talk ended with a focus on current political tensions and the UK’s response.

The audience also heard from local businesses including BEC, BAE Systems and Oxley Developments Ltd, all signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant, detailing their efforts in supporting veterans within their organisations and the Armed Forces community at large.

The event concluded with a roundtable discussion that gave local businesses the opportunity to ask questions about the Armed Forces Covenant and employing reservists.

Chamber member Neil Jurd, chamber member and chief executive officer of Leader-Connect, then signed the Armed Forces Covenant.

He said: “It’s great to sign the Armed Forces Covenant. Within Leader-Connect we have veterans in training and support roles, and they are always excellent.”

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the benefits of supporting ex-service personnel with experience, skills and qualities for the current recruitment challenges facing Cumbrian businesses.

She said: "The event was a great opportunity to discuss the work already underway by businesses in Cumbria to support the Armed Forces community and discuss opportunities for further development."

Gary Oakford, regional employer engagement director for the MOD, said: “The Armed Forces Covenant continues to grow across Cumbria reaching new audiences and creating real and meaningful opportunities for those who have served, our reservists and cadets, spouses and veterans.

"Using the influence of the Chamber to support us demonstrates the power of working in collaboration on shared ambitions.”