11 East Anglian Employers Receive Gold!

22.08.2019

The Ministry of Defence today announced the winners of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award; the highest accolade an employer can receive for actively supporting the Armed Forces community in the workplace and also for encouraging other employers to follow their lead.

Congratulations to 

Anglian Water (Cambridgeshire)

Carbon 60 (Bedfordshire)

Colchester Borough Council (Essex)

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (Hertfordshire)

Focus 7 International Ltd (Hertfordshire)

Hertfordshire County Council (Hertfordshire)

HMP Whitemoor (Cambridgeshire)

London Electronics Ltd (Bedfordshire)

Morrison Utility Services (Hertfordshire)

OppO Recruitment Ltd (Hertfordshire)

The College of West Anglia (Norfolk)

These employers have been recognised for the meaningful steps they have taken since signing the Armed Forces Covenant, to ensure veterans, reservists, cadet instructors and military spouses are not disadvantaged in the workplace.

Nationally, 100 Employers will receive an ERS Gold Award this year. The scheme continues to grow year on year with awardees doubling in the last 12 months taking the total to 228. Included are 23 Local Authorities, 13 NHS Hospitals and Trusts and 29 SMEs. 

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said:

“These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.” 

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said:

“Veterans make a huge contribution to businesses across the country and it’s fantastic to see a record breaking number of organisations recognised for their support.

“We’re working closely with businesses to help them further understand the huge value that veterans, reservists and military spouses can bring to their organisation.”

Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director for East Anglia, said:

“It gives me tremendous pleasure to see our Advocates being recognised for the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm they give to Defence People and on behalf of everyone involved – Thank You.”

How do these companies support Defence?

Anglian Water (Cambridgeshire)

As one of the biggest employers in the East of England, Anglian Water have a long standing relationship with the military community. Employing over 150 veterans, in excess of 20 Reservists and an array of Cadet Force Adult Volunteers and military spouses/partners, Chief Executive Peter Simpson believes, as a company, they “have a real responsibility to do all we can to support out Service personnel. These are the people who have put their lives in the line for the country and we owe them a debt of gratitude. But as a businessman, I also want the very best people working for me – and often the skills our soldiers, sailors and airmen have are vital when it comes to the great engineering challenge of maintaining and improving Anglian Water’s vast network of pipes, sewers, pumping stations and treatment works.”

Anglian Water lead by example having actively encouraged other companies to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and created a Defence community within their workforce via internal publications, intranet and social media groups.

Carbon 60 (Bedfordshire)

Supporting serving and veteran Armed Forces Personnel and their families is at the heart of Carbon60. With a dedicated Reserve Forces Training and Mobilisation policy in place, Carbon60 have support Career Transition Partnership by funding stands at career expos in order to promote the opportunities of Reserve service and a career in industry. Carbon60 has also launched their ‘Connect Mentoring Programme’ which offers CV advice and interviews tips on a one-to-one basis to reservists, veterans, service members and their families.

Carbon 60 has been working with the MOD for a number of years providing skilled personnel for support role functions and projects which directly impact the delivery of front line capability. They also work very closely with the Royal Navy to support their Information Welfare Division, Defence Equipment and Support with delivery of new equipment and Information Systems and Services to support various technology programmes. Through this relationship Carbon60 understands the important role of sport in the Armed Forces and are the proud sponsors of the Royal Navy Football Association.

Colchester Borough Council (Essex)

Located in a Garrison town, over 50% of Colchester Borough Council’s workforce have links to the Armed Forces community and the organisation prides itself on being an exemplar forces friendly employer. In 2019 they launched a guaranteed interview scheme for Veterans and continue to deliver a wide range of events and training packages to employees, local businesses and suppliers to further their understanding of Military Culture and how to become a forces friendly employer.

Not content with developing their own support, Colchester Borough Council have encouraged and mentored HR at Tendring District Council and Braintree Council to agree, develop and deliver a range of initiatives including dedicated armed forces webpages, front line staff training and mentoring schemes all aimed at supporting those who serve or have served in the workplace.

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (Hertfordshire)

With strong links with their local Army Medical Regiment, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust have held an impressive number of Reservist Awareness events at their main site in Stevenage. They have also welcomed military partners such as the Royal British Legion to their site in order to promote services and provide information regarding referral pathways and criteria to staff and patients/visitors who are either serving personnel or veterans and their families.

Their commitment to the Armed Forces community is demonstrated via a number of pledges with the Step into Health programme, their links with the East of England NHS Employers Armed Forces Network, close relationship with Career Transition Partnership and their own dedicated internal armed forces network.

Focus 7 International Ltd (Hertfordshire)

At the heart of Focus 7 is a tri service military ethos. Their board of directors is comprised of an Army veteran and Cadet Force volunteer, the son of a RAF pilot, and the daughter of a Navy sailor and a military spouse. Needless to say Focus 7 are huge supporters of the Armed Forces community. As a brand and digital marketing agency, they maximise their support and encourage other businesses to partner with Defence through numerous internal and external communications.

During Armed Forces Week 2019, Focus 7 led the design of a campaign to promote Armed Forces Week to businesses in East Anglia. In partnership with East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, 3000 local businesses received emails about Armed Forces Week with a link to a bespoke microsite. The microsite included key timings, links to the Armed Forces Day site, the Armed Forces Covenant site, the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme page, the Defence Discount Service site and the Career Transition Partnership. And the Focus 7 team didn’t stop there in creating a truly joined-up campaign. They also designed a series of posters: for employers, for reservists and for cadet volunteers to be placed in offices, Reserve centres and cadet buildings.

Focus 7 has a full and detailed Armed Forces and Reservist HR Policy in place, guaranteeing interviews for the armed force community and offering apprenticeships and intern roles to the local cadet forces. They also act as Armed Forces champions for Hertfordshire Chamber, Institute of Directors East and various business leader associations.

Hertfordshire County Council (Hertfordshire)

Hertfordshire County Council supports, and encourages others to support, the Armed Forces community through partnership working and leading by example. In Hertfordshire, the Armed Forces Covenant Board operates under the name ‘Hertfordshire Heroes’ and works to support the Armed Forces Community living and working in the county. Hertfordshire Heroes has a dedicated website, where the public, members of the Armed Forces and Veterans can find out about the Armed Forces Community in Hertfordshire, services available to them and events.

From 2014-2018, Hertfordshire Heroes supported the 10 District and Borough Councils in Hertfordshire to organise WW1 commemorative events including Victoria Cross stone unveiling ceremonies and produced a film about WW1 remembrance events. With Hertford Town Council, Hertfordshire Heroes organised a county beacon lighting event which was one of seven beacons across the country.

They developed and distributed posters to GP surgeries across the county about priority treatment and mouse mats to remind GPs how they can better support veterans.

HMP Whitemoor (Cambridgeshire)

HMP Whitemoor are the first prison in the UK to be awarded an ERS Gold Award. As an employer of around 150 veterans, HMP Whitemoor clearly recognise how valuable the skills they develop during their military service are to their business and how transferable, as people, they are into their culture. On appointment as Governor, Will Styles set about forging long term sustainable links and collaborative working between WHP Whitemoor and the Military Provost Staff (MPS) Regiment; the UK Armed Forces Detention Specialist Unit delivering Defence’s specialist custody and detention capability with both Regular and Reserve components.

HMP Whitemoor have become true advocates for Defence with two staff members from HMP Whitemoor already joining the MPS Regiment with a further four in the pipeline.

London Electronics Ltd (Bedfordshire)

As a family run company, London Electronics have employed a Reservist for over seven years and hope to recruit a veteran soon. Maintenance Engineer & Reservist Robert King says “London Electronics have been very supportive of my military time, giving me time off for exercises in Albania, RAF100 celebrations, Canada and various courses including driving and first aid. This has meant that I have been able to spend my holiday with my daughters, son and my new granddaughter. My partner also appreciates that we still have holiday time jus for us.”

London Electronics have advocated working with Defence by promoting the benefits of hiring military personnel to their customers and suppliers through their attendance at trade exhibitions.

Morrison Utility Services (Hertfordshire)

Headquartered in Stevenage, Morrison Utility Services work across the UK, employing more than 80 Veterans and numerous Reservists. They work tirelessly with businesses across several industries to help recruit military personnel. They recently ran a social media campaign to recruit new military personnel into the gas industry. This involved placing candidates onto a training programme, giving them industry qualifications and longer term career prospects in an industry area where there is a skills shortage. The resulted in Morrison Utility Services employing 22 ex-service leavers.

Using their network of networks, Morrison Utility Services have successfully encouraged sister companies Dyer & Butler and Magdalene to subscribe to CTP. Also using their ‘Internal Forces Network’ they have influenced companies in their supply chain to become Defence friendly employers and sign the Armed Forces Covenant.

OppO Recruitment Ltd (Hertfordshire)

The company, although a micro company employing eight people, is a strong supporter of the Armed Forces, Reservists and Veterans. The company was established to support ex-military personnel into employment and offers enhanced support to veterans, their spouses and families on their return to civilian life through its registered charity The OppO foundation. Of the eight employees, four have served or continue to serve and as an employer Managing Director Kayam Iqbal provides tremendous support to his staff.

Recruitment Consultant Chris Gillian said “I served in the RAF Police for nine years and to be honest when it came time to leave I would have quite happily signed up for another tour. I knew exactly who I was in the military, what to do and how to do it. I knew nothing about working life on the outside. I was struggling to find my identity but fortunately Kayam was able to help me through that. Working at OppO is a great experience and I am happy that I too can now help Veterans with their civilian careers.”

The company provides keynote speakers at employment events, supporting veterans to obtain employment and promoting the skills and personal attributes to corporate attendees emphasising the value that veterans, through their military training, can add to a business.

OppO Recruitment Ltd are an active advocate of the Armed Forces to BAME communities, breaking down barriers and reaching the heart of communities that had formed preconceptions of military service.

The College of West Anglia (Norfolk)

The College of West Anglia (CWA) have a longstanding relationship with the Armed Forces which was recently enhanced by the launch of the Air & Defence Career College Programme. Employing more than 20 Veterans and several Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, the college have an internal military network and supportive HR policies in place. Recently they have worked very closely with RAF Marham to support two serving personnel find employment for their partners at the college.

The college works with the Navy, Army and RAF Families Federations to understand areas of need. CWA’s Employer Engagement team attend RAF Marham to hold monthly CWA Course Advice Clinics. This is resulted in CWA delivering, at RAF Marham, bespoke courses such as Beginners Polish and GCSE Maths.

 



Back