Following its pledge to the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant, the University of St Mark &St John was quickly recognised under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) with a Silver Award for its sterling work supporting armed forces personnel and their families.
This work has included work placements within the University and fast-track higher education courses to assist the transition to civilian life and securing new employment. The University has also utilised its state-of-art sport science facilities to support the development of elite Service sports teams and potential Paralympians.
The University's armed forces lead, David Ward (ex-RN Cdr) said: "Following the deserving and most rewarding work undertaken by the University and my colleagues, I was delighted to receive this Silver award on behalf of the University from the HM Lord Lt of Devon."
"Located in a Base Port and armed forces resettlement area we are delighted to be able to support the armed forces and their families where we can and our aim is to increase this work and earn future recognition for the Gold award."
To be nominated for the Silver Defence Award, the University needed to demonstrate the following:
- demonstrate support for service personnel issues and employ at least one member of the armed forces community
- actively communicate and uphold a positive stance to their employees via established HR policies and procedures
- show flexibility towards annual training commitments and mobilisation of reservist employees and support the employment of cadet instructors, armed forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick) and military spouses/partners
- collect their certificate at a regional silver awards ceremony, receive silver logos to display and are themselves displayed on the list of Employer Recognition Scheme award winners
- must be nominated for a silver award by a third party using the online nomination form
- are required to sign the armed forces covenant and employ at least one individual from the covenant category that the nomination emphasises
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the armed forces covenant.
The ERS is designed primarily to recognise private sector support although public sector organisations such as the emergency services, local authorities, NHS trusts and executive agencies are also eligible to be recognised.
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