Last night the Defence Secretary recognised employers who have made an outstanding commitment to support the Armed Forces, presenting gold awards to the winners of the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). These organisations later met the Prime Minister during an evening of Armed Forces Covenant events at No.10 Downing Street.
The ERS was launched by the Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 to recognise businesses that are exemplary supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation that those that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
Businesses who hold ERS gold awards proactively advocate and support the Armed Forces community, both internally to employees and externally to the wider community. They have introduced HR policies to encourage the recruitment of Armed Forces personnel, spouses and veterans, and enable reservists to fulfil their annual training and mobilisation.
This year the ERS gold awards focussed on commitments to employ reservists, veterans, and Forces family members. The winners included:
Atkins, The Automobile Association, Babcock, Fujitsu, Gateshead Council, Deloitte, Jaguar Land Rover, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ISS UK, J.P. Morgan, M-EC Consulting Development Engineers, National Express, PwC, Serco and Tesco.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:
“The support from these organisations is making a real difference to our Armed Forces community. They are ensuring that the men and women who have done and continue to do so much for our nation are treated fairly.
Whether allowing reservists the time to train, providing jobs or supporting veterans and spouses, these companies embody what the Armed Forces Covenant is about. I am delighted to thank them for their unwavering support.’’
There are nearly 800 businesses signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant who have made individual pledges. This could cover, for example, employment support and adapting their products and services to better suit the needs of service life.
The pledges of support to the Armed Forces Covenant make commercial sense as well as making a commitment to society. The Services invest heavily in training their personnel in specialist and soft skills, which make veterans a great recruiting pool and organisations more successful. The benefits of employing Defence personnel include:
- World class transferrable training – paid for by Defence
- Military training develops exactly the core skills which employers value in employees; self confidence, determination, teamwork, problem solving, leadership and ability to work under pressure. The Chartered Management Institute estimates that comparable training would cost £8,000 to implement
- Fit and resourceful employees:
- Military trained personnel are fit, focused and positive with a can-do attitude. Many operate in locations and situations that require sound judgement, adaptability, respect for others, good communications skills, loyalty, integrity, and courage
- Effective teams:
Individuals with experience in military service have exceptional team spirit and the ability to lead and follow, qualities that are seamlessly transferred to your organisation
The Armed Forces Covenant has a range of signatories as delivery partners, which include businesses and trade bodies, charities and community organisations, local authorities and government departments. Signatories make their own promises to support the Armed Forces community and implement these promises through policies, services and projects. For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/armed-forces-covenant-supporting-information