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.
The 2021 winners from Worcestershire are: Heart of Worcestershire College, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce and Stepway in Worcester, Signal Traffic Management Ltd in Kidderminster, Worcestershire Medal Service Ltd in Bromsgrove. Meta Mission Data in Malvern were also welcomed to receive their revalidated award after showing their continued commitment for 5 years since first receiving their award in 2016.
Sharon Smith, CEO at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have achieved the Silver Award through the Employers Recognition Scheme in recognition of our support for West Midlands Reserves, Cadets, Veterans and their families.
“With strong business connections in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, we are proud to support the fantastic talent that the forces bring to the business world and it’s a great honour for us to not only participate in the scheme ourselves, but to promote it to the whole of the two Counties business community.”
West Midland RFCA’s Regional Employer Engagement Directors, Cat Suckling and Philip Sinclair, voiced their appreciation to this year’s winners, saying: “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.”
The lunch time event was held in Aspects at the iconic National Memorial Arboretum, with Michael Collie keeping the event running smoothly as the Master of Ceremonies.
Guests were welcomed to the event by Watchman, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, which is a military mascot for the now disbanded Staffordshire Regiment, but continues his duties as part of the Staffordshire Regimental Association.
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.
An act of remembrance at the Armed Forces Memorial, concluded the event, which was led by Father Ian Stephenson from 11 Signals and West Midlands Brigade.