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Achieving Gold Awards in the East Midlands

Three East Midlands’ organisations have achieved a Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award for proactively demonstrating their advocacy for the Armed Forces community.  

University Hospitals of Leicester (UHL) NHS Trust, the University of Lincoln and Nottinghamshire based SkillForce have all received awards and will be invited to a formal presentation event later this year.  

The Defence ERS encourages employers to support Defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. 

The organisations awarded each employ at least one person from the Armed Forces community such as a veteran, reservist or Cadet Force adult volunteer and have previously signed the Armed Forces Covenant.  

In order to achieve a Gold Award the University of Lincoln has acted as an advocate in promoting the Armed Forces and raising awareness of the wider Armed Forces community to 14,000 active students as they enter their working life as graduates.  

The University has developed an Armed Forces Working Group that’s membership is made up of serving reservists, spouses, family and veterans with an aim of creating a two way communication forum for this group of people. The organisation also supports reservist activities through their annual leave policy, leave of absence policy and flexible working policy all of which can be accessed by staff on the University’s intranet.  

Explaining why the University was honoured to receive the award. Julian Free, the Deputy Vice Chancellor said:

“As a university based in Lincolnshire, surrounded by RAF stations, providing education to the Armed Forces and employing a number of ex-military personnel it is tremendous news that our commitment has been recognised through the Armed Forces Employer Recognition Scheme with a Gold Award.  This has not been achieved by a university before, but this year Lincoln and two others have been recognised – another Lincoln first.”   

Tobias Ellwood, The Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:

“The breadth and diversity of this year’s winners shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to flourish. Their commitment is a testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.  

“We all have a role to play in ensuring that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged by service, and each of these employers is a setting an example as meaningful advocates for those protecting the nation.” 

John Wilson, the Ministry of Defences Regional Employer Engagement Director for the East Midlands, said:

“This is the first time three organisations in the East Midlands have achieved a Gold Award in the same year. Each of those awarded are dedicated to supporting and promoting the Armed Forces community and I look forward to continuing to work alongside each of the award winners in the future.”  

To find out more about the ERS and how your organisation could support Defence personnel in the workplace search ‘Defence Employer Recognition Scheme’ online. 

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