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Reserve Forces

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of participants in trips and functions under the SaBRE campaign came from (a) small, (b) medium and (c) large businesses in the last period for which figures are available. (204608)

Under its ‘Employers Abroad’ scheme, SaBRE (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers) arranges for employers of reservists, and other influential business and commercial figures, to visit their employees who are mobilised and serving on operations in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Available records, for the period from January 2006 to May 2008, show that places available to employers on UK briefing visits and ‘Employers Abroad’ visits were allocated as follows:

Percentage

Small employers (1-49 employees)

5

Medium employers (50-249 employees)

9

Large employers (250 plus employees)

86

The ‘Large employers’ category covers representatives of focal organisations for over 200,000 small and medium sized enterprises, such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Chambers of Commerce, and the Trades Union Congress. SaBRE organises and assists in a great number of functions within the UK, many of which are not solely for employer support. It is not possible to ascertain how many invitations to these events go to small, medium or large enterprises.