- 17 organisations in the South West have been awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.
- Nearly 200 organisations have been recognised by the UK Government for supporting the Armed Forces community.
- This is a record high since the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme launched in 2013.
- The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award is the highest badge of honour and recognises the positive role that employers play in supporting the Armed Forces community
Nearly 200 organisations have been recognised by the UK Government for supporting the Armed Forces community, a record high since the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme launched in 2013. 17 of these have been awarded to organisations based in the South West.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, the highest badge of honour, recognises the positive role that employers play in supporting the Armed Forces community.
This year, organisations across a range of sectors including transportation, education, finance, and healthcare have been recognised in the awards. Of the Gold Award winners, 28% are either micro or small sized organisations, while 47% are large organisations with over 500 employees. This not only demonstrates the importance of the Covenant, but the skills and benefits that ex-service personnel can bring businesses.
Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families, Dr Andrew Murrison said:
“I would like to thank all the organisations that have been recognised in this year’s awards. I’m delighted that we have seen so many organisations recognised with a gold award. Their continued support demonstrates the unique benefits and strengths that our Armed Forces community can bring to the workplace.”
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, delivered by Defence Relationship Management has a current total of 641 holders. Organisations must reapply every five years to retain their Gold Award status.
To win a Gold award from the Ministry of Defence, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists, and have supportive HR policies in place for reservists, veterans, Cadet Force adult volunteers and the spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
They must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community, by encouraging other organisations to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage with the Employer Recognition Scheme.
This year’s Gold award winners in the Wessex region are;
- i3Works LTD
- Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
- Retain Limited
- Plymouth City Council
- Katie Mills Independent Funeral Service
- University Hospital Dorset
- NHS Dorset
- C3IA Solutions Limited
- North Tower Consulting
- Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust
- WCS Group, Marlowe Compliance Services
- Systems Engineering & Assessment (SEA Group LTD)
- Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
- SQEP Ltd
- Nationwide Engineering Group
- Chemring Countermeasures UK (CCM)
Councillor Sue Dann, Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet member for Customer Services, Sport, Leisure and HR and OD, said: “The Armed Forces are part of Plymouth’s DNA – they are at the heart of Plymouth and central to our history, our present and our future.
“As a Council, we are immensely proud of our Armed Forces community and the value it adds to our city.
“As one of the city’s largest employers, we develop our internal people policies and procedures to support the Armed Forces as well influence other organisations in the city. This work includes leading a citywide Armed Forces Covenant interest business group and working with businesses and partners to secure employment for veterans and those about to leave service.
“And as part of our Skills 4 Plymouth plan we help connect veterans and /serving members of the Armed Forces and their families with opportunities for skills, training, education, careers and jobs. As an employer of more than 20 veterans, we also offer a guaranteed interview scheme for service leavers.
“We are very proud to achieve this Gold award and it is a testament to our ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces.”
Fiona Galbraith, Founder, Director of Ruralink and Veteran said: “Ruralink has been working with service-leavers and the wider military community for five years, in which time we have advocated for the community to countless employers and education providers and directly supported over 200 changes of career.
“I am delighted to accept this Gold Award and hope it heralds yet more successful career starts across the rural industries.”