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Gold standard employers launch new group to increase industry support for our Armed Forces

Published: 25 Jan 2017

A new group of Armed Forces-friendly employers, who will collaborate to further develop the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant and tighten the ties between Defence and employers, has now launched.

The Alumni Group is open to all UK organisations that hold a Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award. Its members are part of a wider community of over 1,300 companies from the private and public sector that have signed the Covenant and are working to ensure that serving or former members of the Armed Forces and their families get a fair deal. The Armed Forces Covenant relies on the support of the wider community to achieve its aims and business is a key part of that.

The creation of the group has been undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including the Defence Relationship Management and Employer Engagement teams, although it will be led and driven by business.

The Alumni Group will work closely with the MOD to promote the Armed Forces Covenant, champion Armed Forces engagement with employers and provide an informed and influential stakeholder sounding board for new initiatives that build on the good work already achieved.

Welcoming the inaugural meeting of organisations which are Gold Award winners under the Armed Forces Covenant’s employer recognition scheme, Jamie Black, Serco’s Strategic Development Director, Defence, said:  “This group aims to inspire other Armed Force Covenant signatories to become Gold Award winners as well. The 24 organisations who have achieved this coveted level are a fraction of the 1,300 who have signed up to the Covenant, and we want to help increase that number, as well as to advise the government on how to further encourage support for the Armed Forces and their associated reservists.”

Brigadier Mark van der Lande CBE, Head of Reserves, Reserve Forces and Cadets, commented: “We commend this initiative from our Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold award winners - another great example of how employers are putting the Armed Forces Covenant into action to support our Forces. The Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award winners have raised the bar for employer support and are well placed to share best practice and inspire other employers to follow their lead and experience the benefits of doing so.”