Ten employers in Wales are among 140 organisations that have received Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for their outstanding support towards the Armed Forces Community.
Representing the highest badge of honour, the Gold Employer Recognition Scheme Award is presented to organisations who are strong advocates for Defence and who support reservists, service leavers, veterans, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and military spouses.
This year’s awardees brings the total number of Gold holders throughout the UK to 493.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty, in making the announcement, said:
“I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.
“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”
The employers in Wales who have won the award in 2021 are: Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council; Butterfly Data; Cardiff and Vale College; Defence Electronics & Components Agency; E-Cycle Limited; Empower Support for the Voluntary Sector Ltd; Firing Line Museum of The Queen’s Dragoon Guards and The Royal Welsh; Hazelwood Carpentry Contractors Ltd; Hywel Dda University Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
Jason Killens, Chief Executive of the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised as a Gold-standard employer in this year’s awards. As a uniformed service, we’re immensely proud of our strong links with the military, both regular and reservists, as well as their families.
“The military were critical in supporting our ambulance service during one of the most challenging periods in its history. Service personnel helped crew our ambulances and make them ready for use during the pandemic, so we’re keen to ensure we reciprocate that fantastic commitment with strong support for the Armed Forces Covenant through recruitment and support of veterans, reservists and their families.”
Cardiff and Vale College Principal Kay Martin said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded Gold in the UK Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. At Cardiff and Vale College we are extremely proud to be able to support those who serve and those who have served, through our work such as courses for Reservists, upskilling programmes for RAF personnel and our work with the 157 Regiment, the Royal Logistics Corps, with our Combined Cadet Force.”
To win a Gold Award, organisations must be strong advocates for Defence, be strong supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant and encourage other business to demonstrate similar support to the Defence family.
They should also provide additional leave entitlement to support Reservist training and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
This year’s Gold Award Winners include a very large range of diverse organisations from NHS trusts, educational institutions, financial services, hotels, charities, law firms, police services to football clubs and museums.
Nearly 50 per cent are a small or medium-sized enterprise and 72 per cent are private companies, demonstrating the wide range of organisations offering support to the military community regardless of size, sector or location.
Mr Tony Fish, the MOD’s Regional Employer Engagement Director for North Wales said, “We’re delighted that so many employers in Wales have been recognised with this Gold Award. It is particularly pleasing that these employers have worked so hard to support our Armed Forces Community, during what has been an extremely difficult year.”
To find out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme and how your business can benefit from supporting the Armed Forces Community visit here