September 27th 2017

Defence Employer Engagement

John Wilson

A primary objective of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is to recruit and retain regular and reserve personnel for the Armed Forces. Employer Engagement is an important activity helping to achieve that objective. 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.

Our activities support the full spectrum of Defence personnel including Service leavers, veterans, their families and cadet organisations.

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 including 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

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 in a number of ways, 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.

Over 1950 organisations have signed the Covenant and 176 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. In 2017, 62 East Midlands’ employers have registered for Bronze (to date) and 21 have been approved for Silver Awards which will be presented at a special dinner on 9 November.  For a list of all employers who have received awards or to register for a Bronze, go to the ERS website.


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

Future Events

  • Teams completed a number of different command tasks during the event

    Teams completed a number of different command tasks during the event

    14 Oct 17: Personal Development and Leadership Training with the Army: Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5HA. An opportunity for civilian organisations to gain some insight and learning from the way the Army does leadership, on a FREE one-day personal and professional development exercise. Delegates will be introduced to the way the Army teaches leadership, in theory and in practice; delivered in an engaging and interactive way with plenty of opportunity for thought provoking discussion. The exercise includes a morning session of presentations and syndicate discussions anchored around leadership theory, followed by an afternoon of fun outdoors, having a go at leadership in practice.

    Receiving feedback after completing an activity

    Receiving feedback after completing an activity

  • 23 Oct 17: Air Combat Power Visit. RAF Coningsby: The RAF will demonstrate their Air Power roles, providing an understanding of how the RAF develops, resources and generates military capability.  You will see a wide range of aircraft and equipment including a Typhoon air display, helicopters, transport aircraft, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, radar and weapons systems. You will have the opportunity to look around the aircraft, handle some equipment, and chat with RAF personnel about their work and operational experiences. The programme will commence at 07.30 hrs and conclude at 17.30 hrs; a hot lunch will be provided.

If you are interested in these events, contact:

Cat Suckling, Assistant Regional Employer Engagement Director, on 0115 924 8622 or email