Prime Minister Thanks Employers Supporting the Armed Forces

This January 14th the Defence Secretary recognised employers who have made an outstanding commitment to support the Armed Forces, presenting gold awards to the winners of the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). These organisations later met the Prime Minister during an evening of Armed Forces Covenant events at No.10 Downing Street.

The ERS was launched by the Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 to recognise businesses that are exemplary supporters of the Armed Forces Covenant, a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

Businesses who hold ERS gold awards proactively advocate and support the Armed Forces community, both internally to employees and externally to the wider community. They have introduced HR policies to encourage the recruitment of Armed Forces personnel,spouses and veterans, and enable reservists to fulfil their annual training and mobilisation.
This year the ERS gold awards focussed on commitments to employ reservists, veterans, and Forces family members. Thewinners included:
Atkins, The Automobile Association, Babcock, Fujitsu, Gateshead Council, Deloitte, Jaguar Land Rover, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, ISS UK, J.P. Morgan, M-EC Consulting Development Engineers, National Express, PwC, Serco and Tesco.
Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said:
“The support from these organisations is making a real difference to our Armed Forces community. They are ensuring that the men and women who have done and continue to do so much for our nation are treated fairly.
Whether allowing reservists the time to train, providing jobs or supportingveterans and spouses, these companies embody what the Armed Forces Covenant is about. I am delighted to thank them for their unwavering support.’’
There are nearly 800 businesses signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant who have made individual pledges. This could cover, for example, employment support and adapting their products and services to better suit the needs of service life.

The pledges of support to the Armed Forces Covenant make commercial sense as well as making a commitment to society. The Services invest heavily in training their personnel in specialist and soft skills, which make veterans a great recruiting pool andorganisations more successful. The benefits of employing defence personnel include:
– World class transferrable training – paid for by Defence
o Military training develops exactly the core skills which employers value in employees; self confidence, determination, teamwork, problem solving, leadership and ability to work under pressure. The Chartered Management Institute estimates that comparable training would cost £8,000 to implement
– Fit and resourceful employees:
o Military trained personnel are fit, focused and positive with a can-do attitude. Many operate in locations and situations that require sound judgement, adaptability, respect for others, good communications skills, loyalty, integrity, and courage
– Effective teams:

Individuals with experience in military service have exceptional team spirit and the ability to lead and follow, qualities that are seamlessly transferred to your organisation
The Armed Forces Covenant has a range of signatories as delivery partners, which include businesses and trade bodies, charities and community organisations, local authorities and government departments. Signatories make their own promises to support the Armed Forces community and implement these promises through policies, services and projects. For more information, please visit

Notes to editors:
All the Armed Forces Covenant ERS Gold Award winners employ a large number of service leavers and reservists, and here is some additional information on how these organisations support the Forces community:
Atkins: Launched a ‘Partnering with the Armed Forces’ programme which encompasses improved HR support for reservists and ex-service personnel, and recruitment of service leavers.
The AA: Work with ‘The Poppy Factory’ charity to help place injured soldiers into work.
Babcock: Offer a guaranteed interview for any reservist who applies for a post via the Babcock International website. Offer paid time off for Reservist training.
Deloitte: Promotes the value of military skills internally and to their supply chain and provides pro-bono consultancy time to develop the Voices of Employees that Served (VETS) programme.
Fujitsu: To attract service leavers, they have set up a recruitment process that recognises Armed Forces skills and qualification. They work closely with CTP, providing access to vacancies through their internal recruitment system.
Gateshead Council: Offers two weeks additional paid holiday for Reservist training.
Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: created an online presence supporting reservists in their ‘Work for Us’ section of their website, advocating the benefits of joining the Reserves and providing a host of links to make joining as easy as it can be.
ISS UK: At ISS sites, a large number of staff are spouses, partners or children of service members. They plan to increase the number of Reservist employees and offer work placements to Air Cadets.
Jaguar Land Rover: encourages their supply chain to recruit service leavers, recommending candidates to their suppliers.
JP Morgan: Runs a market-leading Ex-Military Internship Programme to help service leavers of all ranks transition into successful careers in the private sector.
M-EC Consulting Development Engineers: Demonstrates a positive attitude towards Reservists and service leavers when recruiting. The company has been a strong advocate for the value of military skills externally.
National Express: Give generous discounts for reservists, service personnel and their families, offers guaranteed job interview to those leaving with a PCV driving licence, offer their Reservists additional paid annual leave for training.
PwC: created a “Military Network’ which provides invaluable guidance to those transitioning from the service and the veterans and reservists employed throughout the firm.
Serco: Offer 12 extra days’ paid leave for Reserving training.
Tesco: key partner of the Career Transition Partnership, enabling Forces leavers to see if retail is for them.