As a business that believes in giving back to communities in which we work, Salesforce is proud to be supporting the National Armed Forces Day on 29 June 2019.
The annual event is a chance for businesses to show their support for members of the Armed Forces community, including current service personnel, veterans, cadets and service families.
Showing support for members of the forces provides a much valued morale boost for this community. Often they are working around the world apart from family, promoting peace, delivering aid and providing protection.
This year, Armed Forces Day recognises Reservists who give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve forces, balancing their civilian life with a military career. As a former Reservist myself, I recognise the skills and experience they bring as well as the plight that ex-Forces personnel can face.
I decided I wanted to do something about it and that’s why I am especially proud to be leading Salesforce’s UK Vetforce programme, which prepares current service members, veterans, and military spouses for civilian careers in IT, consulting, or sales through career-specific training.
As part of our commitment, we also provide 'career transition' support to service leaders through mentorship to Vetforce programme participants and workshops/webinars for those in transition.
It is through this programme that we have put in place policies to ensure that members of the Armed Forces are not put at a disadvantage at work. For example, Reservists employed by Salesforce are now given 10 days additional paid leave to complete their training during the year.
Participation in the Vetforce programme is completely free, and members can work their way to globally recognised Salesforce Certifications, giving them access to an array of roles either directly with Salesforce or through our partners and customers.
To date, over 300 Armed Forces veterans and their partners have registered onto the free Salesforce training programmes for veterans. One recent success story is that of Shane Whittingham:
Shane had already completed a placement onsite with a customer of the FDM Group, a key partner with whom Salesforce work to help veterans transition into a career in IT. Whilst between placements, Shane used his time to complete training under the Vetforce programme towards his Salesforce Administrator Certification.
Within a few weeks of passing the exam, Shane was placed as the Salesforce Administrator at St Jame’s Place, a mutual customer of both FDM group and Salesforce.
Shane Whittingham, shares his experience since joining Vetforce: “The Vetforce programme has provided me with a new lease of life that has enabled me to learn at my own pace through the virtual learning environment while sustaining employment, participate in the Vetforce group of likeminded individuals to support one another through their Salesforce journey and have the opportunity to take world-class certifications that will enhance my career prospects.”
At Salesforce we are looking to place hundreds more veterans like Shane into Salesforce roles across our ecosystem of customers and partners. And we’ll also be supporting and enabling military charities through our 1-1-1 model - giving 1% of our time, 1% of our profits and 1% of our technology to helping others.
This includes, but is not limited to, offering free or discounted Salesforce products and enablement sessions; offering support to our local cadet units, either in our local community or in local schools, where possible..
We're proud to be an Armed Forces-friendly organisation and look forward to continuing our work to ensure individuals who serve, in the present or past, and their families, face no disadvantage in the provision of public and commercial services.
I would ask you to do what you can to support Armed Forces Day, whether that is to attend an event, give a donation to a relevant charity, do something for someone you know in the Armed Forces community, or just to take a moment to reflect on what the Armed Forces do for us.