Prince William awards Gold to supportive employers

Prince William awarded Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards to twenty-two employers.

Prince William thanked the representatives of twenty-two companies for their work by presenting them with their Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award,  recognising each one’s outstanding commitment to supporting reservist, veteran, cadet instructor and military spouse employees.

The Employer Recognition Scheme awards ceremony was hosted by Defence Secretary Michael Fallon at the Royal Hospital Chelsea – a retirement home for hundreds of Army veterans.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Employers across the country are ensuring our military get a fair deal including helping veterans to have successful careers after leaving service. These companies are rightly being recognised for the support they offer under the Armed Forces Covenant and encouraging other firms to go the extra mile.”

ERS Gold award Recipients included firms from a wide range of sectors, ranging from large corporate companies to small and medium-sized enterprises.


Prince William gives ERS Gold Award to Waves Training

Waves Training Solutions Ltd employs seven reservists among a staff of twenty-five. Managing Director Lou Whiting said: “We didn’t have to make a great deal of effort to demonstrate our commitment because that is simply what we do!” The company employs an ex-Royal Artillery officer who was medically discharged with a back problem, which limits the amount of time she can sit at a desk. “We value her and appreciate the physical restrictions that she has,” said Lou.


The Employer Recognition Scheme exists to recognise employers that support Defence People. 

Among the recipients were the Scottish Ambulance Service, with a long history of employing Reservists and veterans. 

Engineering firm AECOM doubled the number of Reservists it employs in the last 12 months. The company allows 15 extra days’ leave for them, as well as Cadet Instructors. Steve Morris, Chief Executive of AECOM said: “As a former Officer myself, I have seen first-hand the breadth of highly transferable skills our Armed Forces can bring to a company like AECOM.”

DJ Rees, a small decorating company with 21 staff based in South Wales, recruits apprentices into its team exclusively from the Armed Forces Employability Pathway scheme, helping improve employment prospects for young, unemployed people.

Another winner, Kier Group, was instrumental in the development of the pilot for the Armed Forces Employability Pathway (AFEP) that aims to get the long term unemployed into work. Chief Executive, Mr Haydn Mursell, added: “Our people are at the heart of everything we do, and by bringing this motivated, driven pool of talent into our business, we all benefit.”

In the North of England, TA Plastics has developed a flexible HR policy which includes extra leave for training. A true advocate for Reservists, the company’s Managing Director often speaks at events on the value of military skills in the workplace. The company also encourages support for the Armed Forces Covenant from its supply chain.


Prince William awards ERS Gold to Doncaster Council

Local authorities are also eligible to receive the award. 

Doncaster Council received the ERS Gold Award from Prince William for its support, which includes an HR policy offering Reservists up to three weeks additional paid holiday for training. Doncaster Veteran Support Officer, Mark Hopson, said: “It is a privilege to work on behalf of Doncaster Armed Forces Community, ensuring that the council and its partners continue to remove any disadvantages that the ex-service personnel and their families may face as a result of their military service.” 

Ian Pirie, Army Veteran said “I was made redundant one day and invited to a Council/DWP veteran employment event the next.  I received veteran support awareness, got briefed on the Royal British Legion Industries “Lifeworks” course, and registered my interest with an ex-forces friendly major employer.  Thanks to being on the Council’s priority housing list, I was offered accommodation by the Council’s partner, St Leger Homes, within 5 weeks.”


These 22 organisations join 25 other companies who received ERS Gold Awards since the scheme’s inception in 2014. More information can be found on the gov.uk website.

Scroll to Top