Bristol based web design and marketing agency GWS Media says it has “benefited from employing a reservist”. Richard Graves says at first they were unsure how employing a Reservist would affect the business at first. However 6 months in to employing Digital Marketing Manager, Gareth Simpson, they are proud and supportive of his commitment.
On weekdays, Gareth manages the internet marketing team at GWS Media but is also a Corporal in the Royal Signals. He is currently posted to the Army Training Unit for the South West, where he trains Army Reserves in the initial stages of first aid, physical exercise, safe weapon handling and other military skills.
In order to carry out this role Gareth has undertaken additional leadership, management and instructional techniques courses, which have been paid for and delivered by the Army. This training has earned him nationally accredited qualifications which have given him the experience to train and manage his team at GWS Media.
David Graves, Creative Director says “Gareth’s military training has had a direct benefit on his work here. His qualifications give him additional skills, which we would otherwise have to pay for or hire”.
Gareth says “The Army Reserves has given me the confidence to lead and mentor. The contrast to my corporate job gives me a good work/life balance and provides me with additional fulfilment. GWS recognise that looking after its people and their interests, enables them to better look after the business”.
The majority of Reservist training Gareth undertakes is in his spare time, although most Reservists are involved in a two week continuous training and development commitment each year. The timing of this training and development can be flexed according to the needs of the employer’s business and Gareth took part in his annual continuous training in January this year. During this time he was able to keep in touch with the office and ensure things were running smoothly in his absence.
The Ministry of Defence also recognise that employers need to understand the benefits of having Reservist employees, in the manner that GWS benefits from Gareth’s part-time service. The Supporting Britain’s Reservists & Employers Campaign and Regional Directors provide all the necessary support via www.sabre.mod.uk.
Jon Beake, Regional SaBRE Campaign Director, states, “The support that GWS demonstrates to Gareth for his Reserve service is vital and costs them nothing, especially when compared to the benefits it provides the organisation. I am looking forward to GWS gaining a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Award later this year because of this support; it’s a win-win all round!”