North Sea Armed Forces Covenant Forum

June 15, 2023
People applaud at hotel function suite.

General Officer Scotland, Major General Bill Wright CBE, hosted a North Sea Armed Forces Covenant Forum on 1 June.

The event facilitated engagement between companies operating in the North Sea and was held at the Chester Hotel, Aberdeen.

Members of the Armed Forces Covenant team and Ray Watt and Roy McLellan, Highland RFCA’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors, accompanied General Wright.

The forum was opened by an update on Defence activities in Scotland from the General, and an insight into what the Armed Forces Covenant and Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) are, and how they work. This was followed by an opportunity to discuss the benefits and challenges of employing veterans, and what the military can do to better prepare its service leavers for their transition into civilian employment, be this skills/qualifications/documentation etc.

The discussion was then opened more broadly to encompass areas of learning between industry and the Armed Forces, with particular focus on safety culture, long-term planning and forecasting, and the attraction and retention of a skilled workforce. 

Attendees also heard from Dr Donette Murray, the British Army’s Policy Advisor in Scotland.

The event was open to all companies operating in the North Sea, both those that are already signatories to the Armed Forces Covenant and ERS award holders and those seeking more information on the scheme and how to better support veterans.

Among the companies represented were: Petrofac; Serica Energy; Trident Maritime Systems LLC; Wood PLC; OEUK; KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd; ADC Energy Ltd; Stork; Bilfinger UK Limited; Well-Safe Solutions; Odfjell Technology; Stena Drilling Ltd; SSE; Valaris; Shell; and Subsea7.

Serica Energy sponsored the event. Serica is an Armed Forces Covenant signatory and 2023 recipient of the ERS Silver Award.

General presenting certificate to employer.
Major General Bill Wright presents an ERS Bronze Award to OEUK’s Mark Wilson.

The event also saw General Wright present a Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze Award to Offshore Energies UK (OEUK). Mark Wilson (HSE & Operations Director) received the certificate. 

The ERS awards encourage employers to support Defence and inspire others to do the same. The prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards are 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. OEUK had previously signed the Armed Forces Covenant on 31 March.

■ OEUK is the leading representative body for the UK offshore energy industries. It is a not-for-profit organisation with a pedigree stretching back almost half a century. It is proud to inform, engage and champion the UK energy industries as part of a diverse national energy mix. Membership is open to all companies active in the UK continental shelf. From the largest producers and contractors to SMEs working in low carbon energy.