HMP Whitemoor first prison in England & Wales to receive Ministry of Defence Employer Award

2018 ERS Silver Award Winners pictured at the Awards Event on Thursday 8th November  (full caption below)

The Ministry of Defence has awarded Armed Forces Covenant Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Awards to 14 East Anglia public and private sector companies this year.

Amongst the winners is HMP Whitemoor, the first prison in England and Wales to achieve the award. Will Styles, Governor of HMP Whitemoor said: “Any prison can support the Reserve Forces, and the benefits of doing so for the individuals and their prison can be fantastic. We are proud at Whitemoor to be supporting our staff, and the men and women in the Regular and Reserve Forces that keep us all safe.”  

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart added: “I am really delighted that prison officers are being supported as Army Reservists. There is so much these two great uniformed services can learn from each other. Prison officers are some of our finest public servants and this is another great example of their dedication, and service.”

Commenting on the announcement of the 2018 Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Awards recipients, Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans, the Rt. Hon. Tobias Ellwood MP said: “The winners should all be proud of the life-changing impact and fresh opportunities they are providing to our Reservists, veterans, wounded injured and sick and their families. We’ve seen a record number of winners this year, which shows that the Armed Forces family talent pool is also providing a tangible business benefit.”

In sending his congratulations to this year’s winners, the Rt Hon Gavin Williamson MP, Secretary of State for Defence said that we all have a role to play in ensuring that members of the Armed Forces community are not disadvantaged by their service. He added: “By employing veterans and the partners of Service personnel; by supporting your Reserve employees to meet their training commitments; and by continuing to help Service leavers as they make the transition back into civilian life, you are all setting outstanding examples for others to follow.”

Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director, Ministry of Defence added: “The Silver Awards are an opportunity for the Ministry of Defence to thank our employers for the contribution they make to the Defence of the Country by supporting the men and women of our Armed Forces.”

Amongst the winners this year are Stevenage-based Morrison Utility Services. The company employs a number of ex-forces personnel and reservists and actively engages with the Armed Forces community through its collaboration with the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), the official provider of Armed Forces resettlement support.

“As a former Royal Engineer, I’ve been delighted to meet so many ex-Sappers who have built a successful career in Morrison Utility Services. It’s heartening that this company recognises the transferable skills we provide and gives us the opportunity to play to our strengths,” said David Steel, Veteran/Business Development Manager for Morrison Utility Services.

All the recipients of a Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award this year in East Anglia expressed that it was an honour to be recognised with the award, each adding an insight into how they’ve achieved their Silver Award this year:

“At Cambridgeshire County Council, we encourage activities which help integrate the Armed Forces community into local life with a focus on supporting children and young people from families of service personnel,” said Cllr Mac McGuire, Armed Forces Champion for the council.

Rob Robson, Managing Director of Levertech Aviation Services Limited in Essex said that the strong work ethic and optimistic attitude of their four veteran employees shines through. “We are confident that they will continue to develop and add value to our Company over the coming years,” he continued.

Vinnie Burtonshaw, Reservist and Technical Service Manager for Levett Consultancy Ltd in Essex said: “Since I started with Levett Consultancy, they have shown an unwavering willingness to assist me with my Reservist duties, from being able to leave early when required to being granted extra leave to attend training events.”

Liz Austin, HR Director of London Stansted Airport in Essex said: “We were very proud to be the first airport in England to sign up to the Covenant last year, but to win the Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award is a fantastic honour.  We have strong links with the Armed Forces with many former service personnel and Reservists working in various roles across the airport.  Members of the Armed Services can bring real value to businesses like Stansted Airport and we recognise our duty to support those individuals who fulfill difficult roles across the world and return to civilian life.”

Cherry Lewis-Taylor, Franchisee of McDonalds Restaurants in Essex is a former Army Officer who served for over twenty years.  She said: ”I appreciate the many qualities that Veterans bring to my business.  These include leadership, teamwork, reliability, responsibility, initiative and integrity.  Veterans also bring a wealth of experience and transferable skills which make them a real asset.  A successful business recognises and values its workforce and I have no hesitation in encouraging my staff to join the Reserves and I am delighted to support them in their Military careers.”

Colchester Borough Council offers employees two weeks’ extra paid leave for Reserve training. Adrian Pritchard, Chief Executive said: “The Council is responsive to the needs of the town’s Military community and is actively working to raise awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant by encouraging businesses to be Forces-friendly employers.”

“The Life Academies Trust in Bedfordshire has re-written their leave policy to accommodate my Reserve commitments,” said Chris Mooney, their Facilities Manager, who is also a veteran and a Reservist. “The Trust also offer work experience to Service personnel nearing the end of their military careers,” he added.

Jim Lees, Managing Director of Bedfordshire-based London Electronics said: All employment vacancy adverts contain our positive statement towards employing Veterans and we are hopeful that we’ll be able to offer employment to a Veteran soon.”

David Pomfret, Principal & Chief Executive of the College of West Anglia announced the College’s longstanding relationship with the Armed Forces was recently enhanced by the launch of their Air & Defence Career College programme.

Laura Fletcher, Commercial Director of NQA Certification Ltd in Bedfordshire said: We are proud to support our Veterans and staff who are still part of the Armed Forces.  The achievement of the Silver Award is an incredible testament to NQA’s journey towards supporting the Armed forces. Thank you.”

Cllr John Fox, Armed Forces Champion for Peterborough City Council said: “We are committed to campaign for more companies to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant so they fully understand how they can gain from employing such professional people and also what qualities they bring to the table for any company.”

Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council said: “Stevenage Borough Council is proud and honoured to receive this award.  We are committed to ensuring that Stevenage is a community that supports its servicemen and women, past and present.”

The ERS includes Bronze, Silver and Gold awards with the Gold Awards being handed out by HRH the Duke of Wessex on Monday the 12th November at Lancaster House. If you would like to explore how your company can become involved and receive recognition please contact Kristina Carrington, Regional Employer Engagement Director for East Anglia RFCA.

Photo cap: Left to Right

Johnathan Oates – London Stansted Airport Richard Nelson – Morrison Utilities Services Sean Kelly – Morrison Utilities Services Robert King – London Electronics Bob Nicholas – HMP Whitemoor Jim Lees – London Electronics Lisa Brightey – Peterborough City Council Cllr John Holdich – Peterborough City Council Amanda Mann – Colchester Borough Council Sam Goodman – Colchester Borough Council Cllr Mac McGuire – Cambridgeshire City Council Pamela Donnelly – Colchester Borough Council Rob Robson – Levertech Aviation Services Cllr John Lloyd – Stevenage Borough Council Gemma Mitchell – NQA Certification Ltd Ian Rudland – Stevenage Borough Council Judith Hargreaves – NQA Certification Ltd Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Cambridgeshire Mr Chris Parkhouse Will Styles – HMP Whitemoor Scott Crudgington – Stevenage Borough Council AVM Richard Knighton Shaun Hindle – College of West Anglia Gail Wootton- london Stansted Airport Archie Gemmell – NQA Certification Ltd David Pomfret – College of West Anglia Cherry Lewis-Taylor – McDonalds Franchisee Lee Mallott – College of West Anglia Colin Jellicoe – Morrison Utilities Services Vinnie Burtonshaw – Levett Consultancy Paul Levett – Levett Consultancy John Dilley – Life Academies Trust.

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