Fifteen organisations across Yorkshire have been recognised among the country’s leading employers for their support of the Armed Forces, having been honoured at a special awards ceremony held recently as part of the Government’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).
Receiving a certificate signed by the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff, organisations from both the public and private sectors, including councils, health trusts, educational establishments and private firms, received the Silver Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award.
Presented by each of Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenants of North, South, East and West Yorkshire and Brigadier Oliver Stokes, Brigade Commander, 4th Infantry Brigade, in a special ceremony at Cutlers’ Hall, Sheffield, the organisations were applauded for their flexible working practises and positive support for reservists, Cadet Force Adult Instructors, veterans and families of service personnel.
The ceremony, which is run by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) in Yorkshire and The Humber on behalf of 4th Infantry Brigade was also attended by many dignitaries, including the Master Cutler and senior Armed Forces representatives from across the region.
Among the winners were Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Dean Royles, Director of HR at the Trust, said of the award: “We are delighted to have been recognised for our support for the Armed Forces. As one of the largest NHS Teaching Hospitals, we have been undertaking some great work to recognise the value that our Armed Forces colleagues bring to our organisation and have strengthened our connections with local Armed Forces partners. This award is a credit to all our staff who have Armed Forces training and experience which they use to benefit patient care at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.”
John Doris, Vice-Principal of Finance and Resources of East Riding College, said of the award: “We are delighted to have received the ERS Silver Award. This, and our pledge to the Armed Forces Covenant reinforces our commitment to supporting those who serve in the Armed Forces and their families. Our College values respect for others and equal opportunity for all and this includes members of the Armed Forces community.”
Andy Welsh from Bradford College said: “Bradford College is thrilled that its support for the armed forces has been publicly recognised. The college respects the vital role the armed forces play in society and is proud to employ reservists and ex-regular members of the forces whose transferable skills make them huge assets to the staff.”
Brigadier Stokes said: “Tonight 15 businesses received the prestigious silver award in recognition of the outstanding commitment they have made to the Armed Forces, whether by supporting service leavers and assisting them into employment, by assisting their staff who also serve in the Reserves, by working with military families or by supporting the region’s Cadet Forces. These awards are important, but so is our continued relationship with employers and their continued commitment to the forces family, and we look forward to a future of mutual benefit. Many congratulations to all the winners.”
Colonel Jason Wright, Chief Executive of the RFCA in Yorkshire and The Humber, added: “The RFCA, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, is delighted to be recognising the level of support and commitment these organisations are providing to our Armed Forces and we are enormously grateful for that support. Their understanding of the value that reservists, ex-regulars and Cadet Force adult volunteers bring to the workplace is a great example to other employers and it is the values and high standards of the British military which make these employees stand out. They bring high levels of motivation, self-discipline, confidence, communication, teamwork, leadership, all of which make a positive contribution to any employer’s bottom line.
“Combined with professional qualifications in subjects including first aid, health and safety, driving and technical qualifications, all of which are now accredited by professional bodies, the benefits of employing military people become very compelling. I am very pleased these organisations have been recognised appropriately for their support.”
The launch of the Employer Recognition Scheme was a commitment made in the July 2013 White Paper entitled ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020: Valuable and Valued’, and takes into account the views of a wide range of companies and industry bodies who championed the value in publicly recognising employers supportive to Reservists.
Reservists in the Yorkshire and Humber areas serve in the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines, the Army Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and can be mobilised wherever needed to work alongside Britain’s regular Armed Forces. Reservists are an integral part of the UK Armed Forces and are trained to a high standard.
To learn more about the Employer Recognition Scheme click here.