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Some 33 British companies have been awarded Gold by the Ministry of Defence under its Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

The Gold Award is the highest badge of honour for organisations that have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and have gone the extra mile in supporting those who serve and have served.

The ERS Gold Awards recognise employers who actively support the Armed Forces community in their workplace and also encourage others to follow their lead. The award scheme, which attracts entries from companies in every part of the country and in the private and public sectors, has seen a rapid increase in participation since it launched in 2014.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “These companies have shown the gold standard of commitment to supporting members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. They have taken meaningful steps to ensure the Defence community are not disadvantaged by the sacrifice they make in helping keep this country safe. The actions of these employers make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business.”

Commenting on their Gold status, Mark Carne, Chief Executive of Network Rail said: “Network Rail has a long tradition of supporting our armed forces and in employing ex-service personnel and Reserve staff. There are plenty of similarities between Network Rail and the Armed forces – the challenges and pressures, where every day is different, requiring a professional can-do attitude and strong teamwork ethos.

“A large number of our workforce come from an Armed Forces background and have thrived in our organisation providing the skills that are critical to our Railway Upgrade Plan and helping us to build a bigger, better railway for Britain.

“We are extremely proud to have received this recognition of our work and continued commitment to support the Armed Forces community.”

The construction industry is well represented through the scheme and a number of members have achieved ERS status.

Service personnel boast a number of transferable skills for the construction industry and the commitment shown by the sector to the Armed Forces is highlighted by the scheme and their successful employees.

Carillion was among seven recipients of the 2014 ERS Gold Awards that have retained their Gold status, while Skanska UK Plc, Laing O’Rourke, Sodexo UK & Ireland, Transport for London and Network Rail, were among the Gold winners. While Travis Perkins was recognised with a Silver Award, Carol Kavanagh, Group HR Director at Travis Perkins Plc, commented: “We’re incredibly proud to have been awarded ERS Silver. We have long recognised the valuable skills, professionalism and dedication that service leavers can bring to our business and we’re committed to showing our ongoing support for the defence community”.

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Post written by: Vicky Maggiani

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