Colchester Institute has shown its commitment to helping the Armed Forces by signing the Armed Forces Covenant at a breakfast event held in the College’s Balkerne Restaurant. In the spirit of Armed Forces Week, local VIP’s and military officials came together to witness the signing including High Sheriff of Colchester Sir Bob Russell, the Mayor of Colchester Gerard Oxford and Mayoress Beverley Oxford.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge made by Colchester Institute to the Ministry of Defence that, amongst other things, the College will support service men and women as they transition to new careers after leaving the military.
The Building Heroes project, which was showcased at the same event, is a perfect example of this collaborative and supportive work. The project provides intensive training in construction and maintenance skills to those leaving the forces to enable them to secure work in sectors where such skills are in high demand.
Principal and Chief Executive, Alison Andreas, who signed the Armed Forces Covenant alongside the Commander of Colchester Garrison, Lieutenant Colonel Ciaran Griffin OBE LANCS said:
“It was fantastic to sign the Armed Forces Covenant to formalise the many ways in which we can build stronger links with the military, whose presence is such an important feature of this town.
Colchester Institute provides numerous opportunities for service leavers, and their families, to train and re-train for new jobs and careers, especially those in skills shortage areas – the Building Heroes project so successfully addresses this. There are also potential employment opportunities within the College, which has over 1200 staff, for those who have had a military career and wish to put their skills into practice in a different way through teaching.”
Brendan Williams, Chief Executive of Building Heroes was elated to witness the signing commenting:
“It was excellent to see the event so well attended and by so many sectors. If you manage to get all three sectors together; employers, military officials and educationalists, you know that you have succeeded.”
Major Colin Peall, Captain Chris Butt, W1 Russ Underwood and Major Rebecca Sharp shared their thoughts on the collaboration saying:
“It is really good to see everyone come together. Brendan has done a great job in showing civilian potential employers what veterans have to offer.
The course is a way for veterans to meet each other and an innovative approach to support the mature leaner. It’s great to see the links between the military community, employers and education strengthening.”