December 14th 2017

Defence Employer Engagement

John Wilson

An important objective of the Ministry of Defence is to recruit and retain regular and reserve personnel for the Armed Forces. The Defence Employer Engagement strategy is important in helping to achieve that objective.


The primary objective of the RFCA’s employer engagement activities is to support the recruitment and retention of reserves but it also supports the full spectrum of Defence personnel including: Service leavers; veterans; military families; and cadet organisations. We aim to develop and sustain positive, mutually-beneficial relationships between employers and the Ministry of Defence to support Defence personnel; before, during and after their service.

Military units in the East Midlands have nearly 2,400 Reservists and the RFCA has engaged with over 4,600 employer contacts, providing information, guidance and advice on matters relating to Defence personnel, especially the employment of Reservists and Service leavers.

Potential benefits to employers

Engaging with Defence can help businesses become stronger and more successful.

  • By employing military personnel, ex-regulars and reservists, organisations can acquire a range of skills and attributes that are beneficial to the workplace.
  • The skills and attributes that military personnel can offer include nationally recognised business and technical qualifications, as well as desirable ‘softer’ transferable skills such as leadership, team working, strategy and problem-solving, proven in challenging environments.
  • Businesses can enhance their reputation and corporate social responsibility by supporting Defence and signing the Armed Forces Covenant, which may be formally recognised through the MOD’s Employer Recognition Scheme.

The Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant aims to ensure that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Covenant provides options to support Defence personnel, including recruitment and retention of reservists and cadet force adult volunteers; employment of Service leavers; and spousal/partner employment.  Businesses sign the Covenant to pledge support for Defence personnel who work in their businesses or access their services.

Over 2,000 organisations have signed the Covenant and 196 are in the East Midlands. Further details are on the Covenant website with a list of those who have signed.

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)

The ERS recognises and rewards employers for their support to Defence personnel. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for employers who respectively pledge, demonstrate or advocate support. To date, awards to East Midlands’ employers are 127 x Bronze; 162 x Silver and 4 x Gold. 21 Silver awards for 2017 were presented at a special dinner on 9 November.  For a list of all employers who have received awards go to the ERS website.

If you are interested in the Armed Forces Covenant or the Employer Recognition Scheme, contact:

Laura Mills, Employer Engagement Support Officer,  0115 924 8616


Employer events provide opportunities for briefing, informing, and thanking employers for their support to the Armed Forces community. Annual events for employers include: London Heritage visit; golf day; Her Majesty’s Birthday Parade; Derbyshire Military Tattoo; visit to the Army’s Mission Training & Mobilisation Centre; Royal Air Force and Army Leadership Exercises; Royal Air Force Air Combat Power Visit.

 2018 Events:

Visit to the Army’s Mission Training & Mobilisation Centre; Thu 22 Mar 18

Ready to roll in the RODET MTMC visit

Mission Training & Mobilisation Centre visit 2017

Mission Training & Mobilisation Centre

The Army is hosting this special event at their Centre in Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham. You will hear about the role of the Army (Regular and Reserve) and see first-hand some of their training activities. You will also hear about Defence support for employers and the potential benefits to employers who employ Reservists. On a guided tour of the facilities, you will see: medical, rehabilitation and welfare facilities; the weapons, kit and equipment used by Reservists (hands-on); training facilities, including counter improvised explosive devices (hands-on); an electronic simulated rifle range (have a go). The event will run from 8.30am to 2.00pm, including a networking lunch.

Balancing on a platform during the command task

Balancing on a platform during the command task

Personal Development & Leadership Training. Would your business benefit from personal development training

Contemplating the task ahead

Contemplating the task ahead

for your employees? These are opportunities for civilian organisations to gain some insight and learning from the way the military does leadership, on FREE one-day training exercises, delegates will be introduced to the way the military teaches leadership, in theory and in practice; delivered in an engaging and interactive way with plenty of opportunity for thought provoking discussion.


  • With the Royal Air Force; Fri 4 May and Fri 16 Nov 18, at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire
  • With the Army; Sep and Oct 18, dates to be determined, at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham.

If you are interested in attending any of these events, contact:

Cat Suckling, Assistant Regional Employer Engagement Director, by emailing: or calling: 0115 924 8622