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The Armed Forces pulled out all the stops this week, at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) presenting 15 supportive employers with the coveted Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award at a special ceremony.

Around 100 people drawn from both the West Midlands’ military and business communities joined forces at the event where military chiefs paid tribute to employers from across the region for the ongoing support they continue to provide to the Armed Forces.

A diverse group of employers made up the Silver Award winners including High Speed 2 (HS2); West Midlands Police; Aston University Engineering College; Briggs Equipment; Burton & South Derbyshire College; Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce; ide Systems; Lord Combustion Services; Mitchells & Butlers; RS4 Security; The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust; Stoke City Football Club; The Sentinel; University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust; and Warwickshire Police

Welcoming senior representatives of the employers to the ceremony, Brigadier Richard Carter, Commander of Donnington,Telford, based 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade, said: "You are all here this afternoon because you have in some way provided meaningful and tangible support to the Armed Forces community – possibly to the reserves, to the cadet force adult volunteers, to our families or through employing service leavers.

"We are grateful for all your proactive support and for you acting as champions and ambassadors for the Armed Forces throughout the year. This support has made a real difference to those who are serving, or who have served and live within the West Midlands. We do not take it for granted I assure you."

The Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) recognises and celebrates UK employers who actively demonstrate and pledge their support to Defence and the Armed Forces community. The scheme includes bronze, silver and gold awards which are presented to companies who align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

The Silver Award is presented specifically to employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and demonstrated and communicated supportive behaviour to Reservists, service leavers, adult cadet instructors and their families

Ms Siamha Butt, Regional Employer Engagement Director, West Midlands, said: “The ERS awards are an excellent opportunity for us to thank our region’s employers for the outstanding contribution they make. These employers have continued to support those who serve and their families, and promoted the inclusion of reservists service leavers and adult cadet Instructors into their organisations making it easy for them to fulfil both military and civilian duties.

"This year’s event also recognises the value that these employers place on the leadership and unique work ethic inherent within the forces in particular where organisations have factored the recruitment of military personnel into their organisational growth strategies”

The awards were jointly organised by military personnel from the Employer Engagement branch of 11th Signal and West Midlands Brigade and by West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA). Military personnel from units from across the region including 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment, and the Royal Yeomanry also attended.

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