August 31st 2018

Employer Engagement update – August 2018

John Wilson

The Defence Employer Engagement strategy aims to develop links between Defence and private and public sector businesses and organisations in order to deliver a close and trusted partnership that is mutually beneficial to all parties.


The RFCA’s employer engagement activities have a primary focus on support to 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 with employers, to support Defence personnel, before, during and after their service.

Military units in the East Midlands have over 2,200 Reservists and the RFCA is engaging with almost 1,900 different employers with over 2,900 active employer contacts, to whom we provide information, guidance and advice on matters relating to Defence personnel, especially the employment of Reservists and Service leavers.

The Benefits to Businesses and Organisations

By having a relationship with Defence, businesses can enhance their reputation and corporate social responsibility. Relationships will be mutually beneficial, developing skills together and sharing combined benefits without additional costs.

Employers who support Defence personnel through the Armed Forces Covenant and are recognised in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme will have access to a number of benefits.

Businesses will have the opportunity to attract highly skilled military personnel, ex-Regulars or Reservists, acquiring a portfolio of skills and behaviours that are beneficial in the workplace. Such skills include recognised business and technical qualifications, as well as skills such as leadership, team-working, and problem-solving, proven in challenging environments. The Career Transition Partnership (CTP) provides a free of charge personalised service for employers to locate and employ Service leavers with the right skills.

Also available to employers are opportunities for staff personal development training on free leadership activities with the Army and the Royal Air Force.

Employers can signpost apprenticeship opportunities through the Cadet Apprenticeship Scheme.

Businesses can expand knowledge of the Armed Forces with access to Land Combat Power and Air Power demonstrations.

Through the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, employers will have access to a variety of venues for hire, at discounted rates.

The Armed Forces Covenant


The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise from the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

The Covenant encourages organisations to develop a mutually-beneficial relationship with members of the Armed Forces community, including those who work in their business or access their products or services.

Over 2800 organisations have signed the Covenant and 281 are in the East Midlands. Further details are on the Covenant website 

A list of companies that have signed the Covenant can be viewed here. 


Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS)

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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. Employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant may self-register for a Bronze award; Silver and Gold awards are subject to an annual nomination and assessment process.

Awards for 2020 have recently been announced, see our ERS announcement for more details. 

As of Sept 202, Awards to East Midlands’ employers now total: Bronze 314; Silver 141; Gold 28.

Furhter details of the Employer Recognition Scheme can be viewed here.