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Burnley College and the Armed Forces working together to create life-changing opportunities for veterans and their families 

Burnley College is continuing its mission to offer exceptional learning opportunities to all by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. 

This pivotal action underlines the College’s commitment to Building Futures and Changing Lives by supporting members of the armed forces, and their families, as they make the often-challenging transition into civilian life and seek new careers. 

The Armed Forces Covenant is a commitment to acknowledge and support members of the armed forces and recognises the sacrifices made by service members and their loved ones. It encourages employers to focus on veterans’ transferable skills, invest in veteran recruitment programs and support veteran integration into civilian careers. 

Lieutenant Colonel Ed Fraser, from the 4th Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment, signed the covenant alongside Neil Burrows, Burnley College’s Director of Skills and Innovation. 

Lt. Col. Fraser said it is vital for employers to understand how versatile veterans are: 


“When you leave the Forces, it’s very easy for people to just think in terms of ‘they must be good with a gun.’

“In my time serving, I’ve been a manager of 600 people and in charge of a multi-million pound budget. These are real, transferable skills, valuable to any company, which make veterans highly employable.”

Lt. Col. Fraser

Lt. Col. Fraser is also passionate about tackling the myths which can surround veterans: 


“There’s a very lazy trope that all veterans are ‘damaged’ in some way. That is just not true.

“Of course, we work hard alongside those who do need additional medical care or mental support – however the vast majority of veterans serve well and leave well.

“Veterans come with levels of self-respect, loyalty, commitment, mission focus and team orientation you simply won’t find in any other profession.”

Lt. Col. Fraser

Another vital aspect of the Armed Forces Covenant is the support it gives the families of serving members of the forces and veterans. 

Lt. Col. Fraser says being in the family of a serving member can be disruptive: 

“I’ve had 10 homes in 18 years, which is typical for serving members and I’m moving again soon to somewhere which could be anywhere within a 9 ½ hour time zone spread. 

“That type of lifestyle creates challenges and stress for spouses and children. 

“The Armed Forces Covenant is there to support them, too, as they adjust to the lifestyle and to be there to help them readjust when their loved one returns to a civilian setting.” 

Neil Burrows added: 


“It’s essential we thank our Servicemen and women for risking their lives to serve our country and I’m proud that Burnley College is actively working to support them as they transition to civilian life.

“We’ve already achieved the Bronze level award in the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme – and we won’t stop ’til we reach Gold!”

Neil Burrows

Director of Skills and Innovation, Burnley College

The signing was also attended by Gary Oakford, Regional Employment Engagement Director with the Ministry of Defence; Andrew Powell, a veteran and CEO of Healthier Heroes, and Ian Barber, Project Lead for the Lancashire Armed Forces Covenant Hub. 

Ian Barber says it is essential to have the information and facilities available for veterans to thrive: 

“There is so much passion, skill and vibrancy within the Armed Forces and we always need to be asking ourselves ‘How can we help them achieve their ambitions?’ 

“We’re currently developing a Lancashire Services Directory,  divided into different sectors of industry and education, containing all the information and contacts an individual needs to start their career journey as a civilian.” 

If you are a veteran, in the armed forces and considering your options or the family of a serving member, we have experts ready to give you the individualised advice, guidance and support you need to make a change and step back into the world of education. You could even join us as a tutor and pass on your skills to a new generation. 

Learn more on our website