A former Royal Engineer in Faringdon says he is proud to work for a national housebuilder that has become the first sector winner of a top award for supporting military personnel.
Darren Partridge, second from right, at Bovis Homes' Faringdon Fields location
Bovis Homes won the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Employee Recognition Scheme Gold Award – the first dedicated housebuilder to receive the accolade - for a raft of initiatives, including providing employment opportunities and helping those connected to the military onto the housing ladder.
It comes as Darren Partridge, site manager at Bovis Homes’ Faringdon Fields location in Oxfordshire, has applied to become a Reservist in the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers.
Darren said: “I love my job at Bovis Homes’ Faringdon Fields location and it’s fantastic to work at a housebuilder which is so committed to the armed forces and has gained this Gold Award. I’m so proud to be part of the team at Bovis Homes and of everything they are doing for the military.
“I’ve applied to join the reservists as I missed the camaraderie the military provides and wanted to fill my spare time with those who contribute to the safeguarding of our country. It’s a brilliant work and life balance and Bovis Homes has been so supportive of my decision to sign up.”
Bovis Homes has introduced a trainee assistant site manager programme, which targets ex-armed forces personnel and in 2017 received the MOD’s ERS Silver Award. The housebuilder is also a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
There are around 100 armed forces veterans out of 1,300 employees within the company, including site managers, technical staff and trainers. The business also offers discount schemes to help servicemen and women buy a home.
Greg Fitzgerald, CEO of Bovis Homes, said: “I am extremely proud to see Bovis Homes receive this award. Having started this journey just over three years ago with the signing the Armed Forces Covenant, we have come a long way in a short space of time.
“The armed forces make a vital contribution to society and our security, and we are leading the way in the housebuilding sector to ensure their efforts are championed in the world of business.
“This award marks a new chapter for Bovis Homes and our commitment to this cause. Whether you're a reservist and need extra time off to fulfil your duties, or coming back into the world of housebuilding after a stint or career in the armed forces, Bovis Homes is ready to offer assistance and support.”
The Gold Award is the highest accolade given to employers who demonstrate forces-friendly credentials through a rigorous application process, adjusting human resources policies to allow flexibility for reservists and supporting individuals transitioning out of the armed forces into a new career.
As part of this award, the employer must proactively demonstrate these and other credentials to their existing workforce, as well as part of their recruitment process.