Twenty three employers from the West Midlands region received their Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Awards alongside eight organisations who had theirs revalidated from 2017. The West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (West Midland RFCA) awards took place on Wednesday 21st September at the National Memorial Arboretum.
The ERS awards were launched in 2014 to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for the employers that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. This includes the Reserves, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.
The winning West Midlands organisations are spread across all of the regions counties and come from a wide range of sectors across industry, including education providers, NHS Trusts, charities, local authorities and SMEs. This year’s winners broken down into counties are:
C4i Systems Limited
Great Dawley Town Council
The Extreme Sports Medical Company
Quorum Logistic Support Ltd
Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (revalidation)
Briggs Equipment Ltd (revalidation)
Burton & South Derbyshire College (revalidation)
Palletways (UK) Limited
Phoenix Industrial Training & Design Limited
Staffordshire County Council (revalidation)
Stoke on Trent City Council (revalidation)
Tri Services and Veterans Support Centre
CODA Security Limited
North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College
NP Aerospace Limited
Orbit Group ltd
University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games
Lord Combustion Services Ltd (revalidation)
Mitchells & Butlers Ltd (revalidation)
Sonic Communications (Int) Ltd (revalidation)
Specialist Computer Centres PLC
West Midlands Fire Service
M&E Global Resources Ltd
Network Innovations Solutions Limited
Quanta Training Limited
Kevin McDonald, Managing Director of Sonic Communications (Int) Ltd said, “Sonic Communications (Int) Ltd is extremely proud to be holders of the Silver ERS award, an award that we have held since 2017, which we view as evidencing the commitment that we undertook when signing the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in 2014, something which as a business we are very proud of.
“Sonic enjoys a relationship with defence through our commercial dealings, sponsorship of both the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team and the communications requirements of the National Memorial Arboretum and more importantly through the employment and support of a growing number of Veterans and Reservists who add much value not only at work, but personally too. As part of our commitment, we are always looking for that additional talent to join our workforce.
“The ERS Silver award is tangible evidence of these important aspects of support to our servicemen, veterans, and their families. It is something that we are looking forward to carrying on for many years.”
Philip Sinclair, Regional Employer Engagement Director for West Midland RFCA commented on the awards, “We are absolutely delighted that 31 employers across our region have been recognised by the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award this year, including eight that have had their Silver Awards from 2017 revalidated, demonstrating a continued and sustained commitment to supporting our Armed Forces community.
“The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme 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 who align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. Having worked closely with these organisations over a number of months and years, we know of the commitment that they show and demonstrate on a daily basis, and applaud their recognition, which is justifiably deserved.
“Many congratulations to them all, we look forward to continuing our work with them.”
The lunch time event was held in Aspects at the iconic National Memorial Arboretum, a fitting place for such awards to be presented, and Michael Collie, who you might recognise from BBC Midlands Today, kept the event running smoothly as the Master of Ceremonies. Guests were welcomed to the event by some of the regions Army Reserve units, who had external stands, and then the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force had stands inside.
Air Commodore Gavin Hellard CBE VR RAuxAF, Deputy Commandant General Royal Auxiliary Air Force was welcomed as the guest speaker and to present all of the winners with their awards. Colonel Paul “Shove” Gilby, Commander HQ West Midlands, also joined Air Commodore Hellard on stage to congratulate the winners.
The event concluded with a short act of Remembrance at the Armed Forces Memorial, led by Lieutenant Colonel Pat Aldred from HQ West Midlands.
View our online photo gallery from the day.