Prince Harry has presented thirty-three UK employers with an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award.
The award is the Ministry of Defence’s prestigious badge of honour for organisations who have demonstrated outstanding support for the Armed Forces community.
Hosted by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, the award presentation took place on Monday 9 October at the Imperial War Museum, London.
Prince Harry thanked this year’s winners and heard about successful initiatives providing veterans with a fair chance of starting a second career in diverse industries following military service. Other support measures in the workplace include flexibility for Reservists and mentoring and job opportunities for military spouses.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “This year’s Gold award winners should be extremely proud of the work they are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and to promote the pledge to others.
“I’m delighted to recognise employers who make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business. I hope others follow their example, thereby delivering a better deal for veterans and armed forces families.”
Two organisations in the HRFCA area won Gold Awards, with Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce and NHS Golden Jubilee Foundation receiving the accolade.
Golden Jubilee Foundation Chief Executive Jill Young said: “The Golden Jubilee has been a proud supporter of both our Armed Forces and Reserve Forces for more than 15 years and is fully committed to not only progressing, but also enhancing this valuable strategic partnership.
“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious Gold Award from the Employer Recognition Scheme and privileged that we have acting reservists and veterans working within our Golden Jubilee team.
“Armed Forces personnel develop a wide range of transferable skills during their military service, providing numerous benefits to service delivery at the Golden Jubilee and the NHS in Scotland.
“As well as problem-solving and leadership techniques, they possess the ability to work well under pressure – skills they are always willing to teach or share with their colleagues. Consequently, they can help us expand our innovative ways of working to improve our services to Scotland’s patients.”
Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce became the first UK chamber to receive Gold status. Their award was collected by former CEO Michelle McKearnon, and chamber directors Paul Harkness and Simon Cole.
The employers recognised with the ERS Gold distinction in 2017 for going above and beyond their pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant are:
Airbus, Balfour Beatty, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, Combat Pest Control, DHL, DXC Technology, ER Systems Global, FDM, Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, General Dynamics UK, Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Hull City Council, Inverclyde Council, Kuehne + Nagel, Laing O’Rourke, Liverpool City Council, Mabway Ltd, ManpowerGroup UK, Metropolitan Police Service, Morson Group, Network Rail, NHS Golden Jubilee Foundation, North West Ambulance Service, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, Shropshire Council, Skanska UK Plc, Sodexo UK & Ireland, South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, Transport for London, West Midlands Fire Service, Wiltshire Council, Wolferstans Solicitors, X-Forces.
The Employer Recognition Scheme encompasses three award tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Gold Award winning employers have to first make pledges under the Armed Forces Covenant, then demonstrate and advocate their support for the Armed Forces. So far, 79 employers have been recognised with a Gold award.