Council wins top Ministry of Defence Award

The City of Edinburgh Council has been chosen to receive a prestigious award from the Ministry of Defence.

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The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award, which is presented to employers for immense support for the Armed Forces, will be awarded to the Council at an awards ceremony later this year.

It follows the city's signing of the Armed Forces Covenant – an allegiance to supporting the forces through services, policy and projects - alongside work to inform the UK government’s consultation on veterans. The Council has also reviewed and updated its Reserve Forces Training and Mobilisation policy and plans to create an Armed Forces network to further support employees.

Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh and Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, Frank Ross, said: “The enormous contribution members of the armed forces make to their country is well known but the role they play in their home communities is underrated. We have a strong forces community in Edinburgh and we’ve found the skills people develop in service really valuable for the wider working environment.

“For many years now we have been Silver Award accredited for the support we provide service families, reserves and those transitioning back into civilian life – yet there is always more we could be doing. That is why we reaffirmed our commitment by signing the Armed Forces Covenant in Business earlier this year. It’s the reason we recently reviewed and updated our Reserve Forces Training and Mobilisation policy and why we’re also in the process of creating an Armed Forces network to further support our employees.

“This is in addition to the work of the Lord Provost’s commission on the Strategy for Our Veterans, which I’ve established to drive forward our city’s commitments.

“I’m thrilled our forces-friendly credentials have now been recognised with the highest standard possible, the Gold Award.”

Edinburgh Napier University, Midlothian Council, Rangers Football Club and building contractor City Building LLP are also among the Scottish winners of the prestigious accolade.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University, Prof Andrea Nolan, said: “When we signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, we did so with real intent.

“I am now delighted that we have become the first university in Scotland to receive this gold award as recognition of the work we do with our Armed Forces and their families.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer added: “Veterans make a huge contribution to businesses across the country and it’s fantastic to see a record breaking number of organisations recognised for their support.

“We’re working closely with businesses to help them further understand the huge value that veterans, reservists and military spouses can bring to their organisation.”

Colin Vooght, Head of Engagement at Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA), said: “I would like to congratulate the wide variety of different organisations who received a Gold Award this year. This proves companies and institutions of all sizes and sectors can play their part in supporting the armed forces community in Scotland.

“I am delighted that these employers have been recognised with the Ministry of Defence’s highest award and look forward to continuing to work alongside each of the award winners in the future.”

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