A new initiative bringing Chambers of Commerce and the military closer together has just been launched with Dunbartonshire Chamber at the forefront.

The ChamberFORCE programme is a partnership between five Scottish Chambers of Commerce supported by Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (HRFCA), and personnel from the Army, Royal Navy and RAF Reserves.

Dunbartonshire Chamber members will now be able to access a range of benefits such as help with recruiting highly skilled ex-military personnel, access to exclusive networking and briefing events, and a range of free leadership and staff development opportunities such as the popular “Exercise Executive Stretch” and “Exercise Mini-Stretch”.

Michelle McKearnon, Regional Employer Engagement Director for HRFCA said: “It is important that the defence establishment recognises the vital role Chambers play in the business community, and that we give something back to all the employers who support our people. ChamberFORCE harnesses the power of the Chamber network and the resources available to businesses from the military, so it is a win-win situation.”

Damon Scott, Chief Executive, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce added: “We have been working closely with the Armed Forces and HRFC for a number of years now to promote the value of transferable skills held by these highly-skilled individuals. ChamberFORCE embeds that relationship further and will provide a platform for us to roll out some exciting plans including setting up an Armed Forces Business Forum and a series of business engagement events.”

Tim Allan, President of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, welcomed ChamberFORCE.

He said: “The launch of ChamberFORCE comes at a critical time for business and will act as an important enabler to showcase the talents and skills of those with military experience. With many sectors and companies continuing to cite recruitment challenges and skills shortages as a barrier to growth, ChamberFORCE is an excellent example of how partnership working can tackle the big challenges facing our economy.

“Leadership, agility, resilience and adaptiveness are just some of the attributes that businesses need in a fast-moving economy and I look forward to supporting ChamberFORCE as we unlock these talents and grow Scotland’s economy.”

ChamberFORCE has also been widely welcomed by the military personnel involved.

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Sheldrick, Commanding Officer of 7SCOTS, whose D Company is Headquartered in Dumbarton, said: “7SCOTS is delighted to be involved in ChamberFORCE.

“Our Army Reserve men and women are ‘citizen soldiers’ who live and work in the local communities alongside their civilian counterparts; employers, work colleagues, family and friends.

“It is important that there is an open and honest relationship between the Reservist and their employer, and that employers are aware of the range of benefits of employing a member of the Reserve Forces and the many and varied hard and soft transferable skills which they learn and develop during their Reserve training, and take back to the workplace at no cost whatsoever to the employer.

“ChamberFORCE will present a unique opportunity for Chambers and 7SCOTS to work together to maximise ‘Business skills in Reserve’.

To find out more about ChamberFORCE and how businesses can join the chamber visit www.dunbartonshirechamber.co.uk


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Chamber admin are responsible for the day to day running of the chamber, dealing with enquiries, membership as well as organising events and meetings.