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Record breaking fifty employers receive coveted Ministry of Defence Award

Fifty employers from the West Midlands region received their Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Awards from West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (West Midland RFCA).

The ERS was 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 Reserve Forces, Service leavers, Armed Forces veterans, the wounded, injured and sick, Cadets, military spouses or partners and their families.

Record breaking fifty employers receive coveted Ministry of Defence Award

The winning organisations are spread across all of the regions counties and come from a wide range of sectors across industry, in addition to education providers, NHS Trusts, charities, local authorities.

The 2021 winners from Coventry and Warwickshire are Cadent Gas Limited, Telent Technology Service Limited, The Security Institute and Veterans Contact Point. Severn Trent PLC were also welcomed to receive their revalidated award after showing their continued commitment for five years since first receiving their award in 2016.

As a first in the history of the West Midland RFCA Silver Awards two of this year’s winning organisations also have a unique connection, as the companies happen to employ a pair of brothers.

David Mounfield has been the Corporate Security and Resilience Manager at Cadent Gas for four years, and Rick Mounfield has been the Chief Executive at The Security Group for four years. The brothers, both veterans, have been integral in working with West Midland RFCA’s Employer Engagement Team to reach their Silver Award status.

Commenting on what the award means to their company, David   said, “I am extremely proud to receive this award on behalf of the business. We created our Cadent Military Community two years ago with this award in our sights.  It shows that Cadent is delivering tangible support to the Armed Forces Community, our commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and our veteran, Reservist, cadet and forces family community.  Since signing the Armed Forces Covenant in 2018 we have worked extremely hard across the organisation to create an environment of inclusivity for all. Our CEO Steve Fraser has shown leadership and commitment to the Forces Community, and we look forward to working towards gaining the Gold award in the coming years.  I would like to thank all members of the Community for their input, insightfulness, humour and dedication towards our shared objective. We couldn’t have achieved this without you!”

Adding to his brother’s remarks, Rick said: “The Security Institute values its veteran community, it makes up about 25% of the total membership. We are intimately familiar with  the value veterans bring to the industry and we help to translate their skills to the marketplace. Peer to peer networking and mentoring is invaluable to a service leaver. They simply need to understand the nuances that are not commonplace in the military community. Exposure to job opportunities and helping secure those opportunities through CV writing and interview skills are what we do best. We enjoy direct links into MOD Main and all three services. We will continue to support veterans in the security workplace whenever we can. The Employer Recognition Scheme is very important to our members and they are committed to supporting our efforts. Achieving the Silver Award is a proud moment in our history and we will strive to go further.”

West Midland RFCA’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors, Cat Suckling and Philip Sinclair, voiced their appreciation to this year’s winners,  “We are particularly pleased and delighted to be able to welcome the West Midlands based Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award winners for 2021 into the West Midland Silver alumni. As Regional Employer Engagement Directors, we seek to work very closely with our employers, and have made the journey with them, so it is a huge pleasure to see that their commitment and effort has been rewarded with this recognition. 

“Our class of 2021, the largest cohort yet, all display a strong commitment to show their support, and demonstrate it by employing members of the Armed Forces community within their workforce or by being powerful advocates for the Armed Forces Covenant and the Armed Forces community that it supports amongst their own networks. We have the full range of the Armed Forces community represented amongst those employers that have achieved the Silver Award recognition this year, which is fantastic! We now look forward to strengthening our links to them further, by supporting their journey towards Gold Award recognition. Congratulations, and thank you, your support is much appreciated.”

The lunch time event was held in Aspects at the iconic National Memorial Arboretum, with Michael Collie from BBC Midlands Today keeping events running smoothly as the Master of Ceremonies.

As well as highlighting the outstanding support of the employers the event also showcased the local Reserve units with members of the Royal Naval Reserve, Army Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force all in attendance.

Brigadier Graeme Fraser MBE ADC RM, Naval Regional Commander Wales and Western England was welcomed as the guest speaker and to present all of the awards on stage. We were also pleased to welcome Colonel Damian McKeown MBE, Assistant Head Employer Engagement

Defence People for Reserve Forces and Cadets and Colonel Chris J Ledsham TD VR

Deputy Commander Reserves 11th Signal & West Midlands Brigade as our senior Military representatives.

The event concluded with a short act of Remembrance at the Armed Forces Memorial, led by Father Ian Stephenson from 11 Signals and West Midlands Brigade.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the Employer Recognition Scheme please contact Cat Suckling on wm-reed@rfca.mod.uk or 0121 274 2225

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