Bringing together former and current members of the armed forces, and their families. Ensuring they are supported with transition from military life, their families have the advice and support they need and helping colleagues who are reservists.
As a business, we’ve had a long-standing association with the Armed Forces ever since our founder, Jack Cohen started Tesco back in 1919 after leaving the Royal Flying Corps at the end of the First World War.
Almost one per cent of all veterans leaving the Army join Tesco, and as the UK’s biggest private sector employer, we want to do everything we can to support our Armed Forces colleagues so that our business continues to be a place where everybody’s welcome and anyone can get on.
We know moving into a civilian career can be as challenging as it is an opportunity, and we support ex-military personnel, providing many ways to aid their transition.
• Support service leavers
• Providing access to Tesco as an example of what service leavers can expect from a civilian employer
• Supporting former military colleagues with transition from military life
• Supporting colleagues with family in the Armed Forces
• Supporting colleagues who are Reservists
At Tesco, we recognise the transferable skills and qualifications gained whilst in military service. We work in collaboration with the Careers Transition Partnership (CTP) https://www.ctp.org.uk/ to support armed forces leavers in securing their next civilian job. By attending careers events hosted by the CTP, we have helped forces leavers secure jobs as:
• Tesco Maintenance: Electrical Technicians, Mechanical Engineers, HVAC/Refrigeration Engineers, Drainage Engineers, Store Technicians and Management
• Drivers (HGV, Delivery)
• Warehouse Operatives & Management
• Office Colleagues (Information Security)
• Store Colleagues & Management
We are proud to uphold the Armed Forces Covenant, a commitment to support the Armed Forces Community and recognise the value Armed Forces colleagues contribute to our business and our country. In 2014 we were the first retailer to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, showing our commitment to making Tesco a great place to work for serving personnel, reservists, veterans and military families.
The signing of the Armed Forces Covenant commits Tesco to uphold its key principles including:
• Supporting veterans who have left the Armed Forces with employment at Tesco
• Aiding spouses and partners of serving personnel to get jobs at Tesco stores
• Ensuring flexibility around life changes due to partners’ military service so colleagues are not disadvantaged
• Promoting the Reserve Forces to Tesco colleagues
We estimate there’s about 20 thousand Armed Forces colleagues at Tesco doing various roles across the business. Our Armed Forces network brings together both former and current members of the Armed Forces and those who want to show their support, as well as coordinating activities to help colleagues meet each other and find their way at Tesco.
As a network, we’re looking to co-ordinate a number of activities – ranging from social activities, to those aiming to support and develop colleagues and former members of the armed forces, helping them to find their way here at Tesco.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (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.
This year Tesco continued to have its support recognised by again receiving a Gold award. To receive this we had to meet certain criteria such as advocating support to defence people issues to partner organisations, suppliers and customers with tangible positive results, proactively demonstrate forces-friendly credentials as part of our recruiting and selection processes, and providing at least 10 days’ additional leave for training, fully paid, to any Reservist employee.
“Coming from the forces helped me to settle quickly into “store life”; working as a team is one of the biggest core values in both the Army and at Tesco.”
"I have only been with Tesco for a short period of time, but it is obvious that the culture is a great fit for my values and behaviours and there is a sense of camaraderie, which is fantastic to see."