January 2009 - Employers’ Support Breakfast
On the 11th of January at HMNZS Pegasus the annual Territorial Force Employer Support Council (TFESC) function was held. This was to acknowledge the support of Reserve Forces from Employers in the Canterbury region.
There was a cross section of both private and public sector attendees, of which some received recognition by achieving a bronze, silver or gold status depending on their levels of support in the Canterbury Regional finals. The gold recipient will go on to national finals held in Wellington at Parliament Buildings in April 2009.
The function commenced with an address from Lt Cdr Tim Elley, Commanding Officer HMNZS Pegasus, who extolled the virtues in the workplace of employing Reserve force staff. He also stressed with more convergence of reserve training to regular requirements, it was crucial to have a good working relationship as more time away from their civilian workplace is being increasingly required.
About 35 employers attended with their Reservist employees for a very convivial and well catered light breakfast, hosted by MC Mark Hadlow (of thespian fame – who humorously recounted his own time in the Navy as an ordinary bandsman). Each employer who accepted their award noted how their employees displayed “high values, as well as, a strong work ethic and overall higher skills, that sets them apart from other employees and it was an all round win-win relationship”.
A number of also extended military leave for lengthy periods, with a number of reserve force personnel now undertaking and benefiting from overseas peacekeeping roles.
Stu Lumsden from NZ Customs noted that many think it is easy for government departments to give time off, but in fact they faced the same issues with scheduling leave and cover staff as would any private sector employer.
At the conclusion several commented that they were very impressed with the event and look forward to next year.