On 16th March Darlington Business Club was proud to host the North of England Armed Forces Business Forum (AFBF) meeting at Blackwell Grange Hotel.

There was a great turnout including Darlington Business Club members such as Kay Sherwen from Darlington College and platinum member, Richard H Tucker MBE of AAA Caring Caretaker, as well as representatives from the MOD, local employers, training organisations and HR companies.

The discussion was led by the chair, Darren Rhodes, who is the North of England Employer Engagement Director for the MOD.

During the group discussion, it became apparent that whilst there are a huge number of ex-forces people looking for work, and a huge number of jobs available to them, there is a mismatch when it comes to bringing the two together, with the current system not really being fit for purpose.

Those present in the room came up with lots of potential solutions and this is something that we as a business club would like to help with too – surely it is a benefit to our members searching for employees if a pool of talented individuals are more easily available to them.

We have decided to provide a years’ free membership to those leaving the forces so that they can attend our meetings and make contacts with local businesses. We are also happy to advertise roles on our website and signpost people to appropriate training. If anyone has any other ideas on how we can help, we’d be grateful to hear them.

Darlington Business Club director, Jayson Gurney said, “As a wounded veteran, who left the Army in early 1993, I have experienced first-hand the difficulties with re-adjustment into civilian life, skills mapping and finding the right employment opportunities.  It was good to hear from those in attendance that things have improved, but there is still more to be done.  The North of England Armed Forces Business Forum and its awesome members are certainly a great resource to help recommend and facilitate these changes.”

For details of future North of England Armed Forces Business Forum events please visit the official Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/darren-rhodes-north-of-england-employer-engagement-director-mod-27550582483.

Please share via your social media accounts, please don’t forget to include some of the following hashtags #SupportOurVeterans #ArmedForcesCovenant #ERSAwards #DarloBizClub, so that we can reach even more businesses.