Carlisle City Council has achieved a Gold standard for its ‘outstanding’ support for the Armed Forces Community.
It is the only district council in Cumbria to achieve the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award.
Representing the highest badge of honour, Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Awards are awarded to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans and their families.
To win an award, organisations must have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson, Portfolio holder for Health and Wellbeing, and Armed Forces Champion said:
“We’re delighted to have received the Gold award.
“As a council, we are committed to supporting the Armed Forces and want to strengthen our knowledge about the issues facing them and their communities.
“We’re proud of the achievement and would like to thank all those colleagues and partners that have helped us get the Gold standard.
“There are many benefits to being a forces-friendly employer including the potential to recruit resourceful employees that have world class transferable training and accredited skills.
“You can benefit from enhanced recruitment and employee retention and employees who work effectively within teams. It can also develop your Corporate Social Responsibility and enhance your reputation as an inclusive employer.”
Carlisle City Council reaffirmed their commitment to the armed forces by resigning the Armed Forces Covenant on Monday 7 March 2022. Partner organisations and businesses from across Carlisle also signed it to also demonstrate their support. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly.
The government-led initiative focusses on helping members of the armed forces community have the same access to government and commercial services and products as any other citizen.
Examples of support the council has given to the armed forces include:
- Offering reservists two weeks paid leave.
- Registered with the Careers Transition Partnership and Forces Families Jobs to advertise jobs.
- Guaranteed interview for armed forces applicants who meet the essential criteria.
- Supporting the Carlisle and Eden Forces Link Project.
- Organising and supporting armed forces events in Carlisle.
Carlisle City Council signed the Cumbrian Armed Forces Covenant in 2013 and reconfirmed its support through this renewed commitment.
About the Employer Recognition Scheme
The Employer Recognition Scheme is accessible online and uses a tiered approach for awards. At the Bronze level employers are able to state their intent to support Defence, the regional Silver level recognises employers who actively demonstrate support and at the highest national level the Gold awards recognise those who have become advocates. A dedicated website www.gov.uk/mod/employer-recognition supports the Employer Recognition Scheme allowing organisations to declare their support at Bronze level and for nominations to be made for both Gold and Silver awards.
More information about the Gold award winners is available at https://www.nwrfca.org.uk/23-north-west-employers-receive-gold-for-their-support-to-defence/