Armed Forces Day continues to grow in profile and scope; parades, concerts, garden parties, and even an afternoon tea in Bishop Stortford will all feature on Saturday 30 June. They all provide fun opportunities where public can celebrate the contribution that our armed forces make to British society.

Even in recent days the impact of the armed forces has been demonstrated in Manchester, with the deployment of the Army to support firefighters tackling a moorland fire. Although this may not be a key national security task that the Army trains for, it is most definitely a demonstration of the willingness of our armed forces to contribute to the nation outside of their immediate military tasks.

On Armed Forces Day it is important to shine a light on the support networks that work in and around the military structure. The UK has a rich network of military organisations, charities, and networks established to support veterans – and industry plays a large part here too.

A primary route for industry to support veterans and the armed forces is through the UK Government Armed Forces Corporate Covenant. This initiative allows businesses of all sizes to commit practical support to the armed forces based on their ability to do so. From information sharing and showing marketing materials to establishing special training schemes and offering guaranteed interviews to veterans there is a vast range of actions that can fit into the Covenant.

Supporting this initiative is the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). ERS encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.

Transition out of the armed forces and into a civilian career can often be a stumbling block for veterans. To help this adjustment the Career Transition Partnership (CTP) was established. CTP is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and a global career development company called Right Management Ltd. The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. To date, CTP has assisted over 235,000 Service leavers with the transition to civilian life and supported thousands of organisations looking to employ ex-Service personnel.

All around industry UK companies are hiring and working with the men and women who not only have the knowledge and experience of the defence user, but also the drive to learn new skills. Regularly employers will comment on the commitment, discipline and eagerness to learn that is demonstrated by veterans upon taking civilian roles.

Every year the visibility of Armed Forces Day serves as a good reminder of the integral roles the armed forces play in British society, however it is vital that UK industry continues to acknowledge this year-round through the initiatives mentioned above. ADS encourages you to find out more and investigate what your company can do for our armed forces.