National Express announces region’s first military covenant

Bus and coach operator leads way with guaranteed interviews for service leavers

National Express has announced the region’s first package of benefits for reservists, Armed Forces personnel and their families as part of the company’s commitment to the government’s Corporate Covenant.

National Express, Birmingham’s biggest, and one of the region’s largest, private sector employers has announced a raft of benefits, including guaranteed interviews for personnel leaving the Armed Forces and ten days additional annual leave for employees who are reservists.

Other benefits announced today include:

  • Creating a ‘Welcome Home’ ticket giving ex-service personnel a month’s free bus travel to find work outside of the forces, plus a family version for those relocating from postings
  • The UK’s largest travel discount for forces and families at 60% off standard coach fares - available via the Defence Discount Service
  • Free bus travel to families visiting soldiers at the Military Hospital at QE

Two members of National Express staff who have welcomed the company’s commitment to the military are bus driver Dave McKee and coach driver Kimron Musa. 

Bus driver Dave, a Territorial Army reservist, returned this week from a tour of Afghanistan to find bosses are increasing his leave so that his commitments with the TA does not affect his time with his family and ability to take holidays. Dave said: “To come home from serving in Afghanistan to find that my bosses have given me ten days extra annual leave and the guys I served with the offer of a job interview when they leave the forces is amazing.  Finding time to be a reservist is sometimes difficult - I know the guys I serve with in the TA would welcome their bosses following National Express West Midlands lead.”

Coach driver Kimron, aged 23 and from Walsall, served in the 13 Air Assault Support Regiment in Colchester.  He drives the 210 and 777 coach services from Birmingham to Gatwick and Stansted airports and said of the support: "I'm really pleased that National Express is showing its support for the military. As an ex-serviceman I know how important it is because I have seen first-hand the sacrifices my friends and colleagues make day in day out for their country."

Peter Coates, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands said: “Supporting the men and women who sacrifice so much for us and our country is vital.  That is why we are helping families visit those injured in service, guaranteeing Armed Forces leavers interviews to help them move on to new careers, and giving our employees, who are reservists, 10 days extra annual leave.”

Antony Baines, Assistant Regional Director Operations for The Royal British Legion said: “Many veterans of our Armed Forces find leaving the military and getting a new career daunting and difficult to do.  The offer of guaranteed interviews with big companies like National Express will give many the confidence they need and will open up careers they didn’t know were there.”


A full list of pledges

National Express West Midlands (bus):

  • Guaranteeing any ex-service personnel an interview subject to CRB and driving licence or engineering standards
  • Providing a 10 day extension of the annual leave enjoyed by employees who are reservists
  • Creating a ‘Welcome home’ bus ticket giving ex-service personnel a month’s free travel to find work outside of the forces and a family version for those relocating from postings
  • A dedicated page on our website for veterans to find deals, products, links to Military Hospital and job vacancies
  • Providing free travel to families visiting soldiers at the Military Hospital at QE

National Express Coach:

  • The UK’s largest travel discount for forces and families at 60% off standard fares available via the Defence Discount Service
  • Guaranteed job interviews for people leaving the forces with a PCV licence who live within an hour of the recruiting depot for driving vacancies
  • Ten days extra leave for staff in the Reserve Forces
  • Support for Armed Forces Day, including a specially-liveried coach

Published 8th November 2013

 
l