On Monday 9th October, HRH Prince Harry, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), awarded 33 businesses and organisations across the UK with an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme Award at an exclusive event hosted by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon at the Imperial War Museum, London. The Gold Award is the MOD’s highest badge of honour for organisations which have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and demonstrated outstanding support for those who serve and have served.
Amongst them was the Morson Group (pictured) who operate part of their business from Wattisham Flying Station (a former RAF station) in Suffolk. It is here that the group carry out major servicing of the British Army’s Apache helicopters and maintain a pool of aircraft ready to deploy at short notice for the Army.
The Morson Group has shown outstanding support for the Reserve Forces and Service leavers since 2014 and continues to develop its partnership with Defence. The company fully supports mobilized employees with a dedicated Reserves champion assisting with pre-deployment and return to work. Morson has also helped to establish the REME Aviation Reserves, which has provided a new career pathway for some of Morson’s Apache attack helicopter technicians who are contributing their sought-after skills to a suitable Reserve role.
Ged Mason, CEO, Morson Group commented,
“It is a real honour and we are proud to be awarded this accreditation. Our armed forces are special and it is only right we support them in their career progression and development as they have protected our country. I am pleased our employees across the business are dedicated to supporting them through the Career Transition Partnership and other initiatives. Looking at some of the names on this list this year it’s great to see so many of our clients also being recognised and it gives me great pleasure to be amongst them.”
HRH 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.
The ERS Gold Awards recognise employers who actively support the Armed Forces community in their workplace and encourage others to follow their lead. The award scheme, which attracts entries from companies in every part of the country and in the private and public sectors, has seen a rapid increase in participation since it launched in 2014. This year only 33 companies across the UK have been awarded Gold.
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.”
165 people work for the Morson Group in Wattisham with many service leavers in employment.
Jon Moon, who lives in Ipswich, was a Sergeant in the Army and served for fifteen years. He is now a Contracts Manager for the Morson Group. He said,
“Making the transition from military to civilian life is, at times, tricky to navigate but I soon realised my organisational and planning skills were easily transferable and invaluable to me and my future employers. Morson provide a secure, supportive environment and via professional development opportunities and training courses offer learning and career progression. There is a strong camaraderie here, just as there is in the military. It’s satisfying to work for a forces friendly company and I hope this award encourages other organisations to review their approach towards the recruitment of ex-forces personnel.”
Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director at the Ministry of Defence, commented,
“It’s fantastic news to hear that the Morson Group have been recognized for their outstanding support and commitment to increasing our Reserve Forces.”
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HRH Prince Harry, CEO Ged Mason, Dale Ransley, Contracts Manager Jon Moon, Sir Michael Fallon