June 29th 2017

Employer Engagement update – June 2017

John Wilson

Defence Employer Engagement
An important objective of the Ministry of Defence is to secure and sustain access to and the availability of the skilled, capable people needed to deliver Defence outputs. Employer Engagement is an important activity helping to achieve that objective. It aims to develop and sustain strong, positive, mutually-beneficial relationships between employers and the Ministry of Defence to support Defence personnel; before, during and after their service.



The RFCA’s employer engagement activities are aligned with the MOD’s key strategy for the recruitment and retention of reserves. Our activities also support the full spectrum of Defence personnel including Service leavers, veterans, wounded injured and sick, families and cadet organisations.

Military units in the East Midlands have over 2,200 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 portfolio of skills and behaviours that are beneficial in a modern working environment.
  • 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 is the basis of Defence’s relationship with society; 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 across a range of important areas of activity, including recruitment and retention of reservists and cadet force adult volunteers; employment of service leavers; resettlement of wounded, injured and sick; and spousal/partner employment.  Businesses may sign the Covenant to confirm publicly that they recognise the value that Defence personnel contribute to our country. The Covenant encourages them to develop a relationship with members of the Armed Forces community who work in their business or access their products or services.

1,769 organisations around the UK have signed the Covenant and 161 are in the East Midlands.

Further information is on the Covenant website with an online list of those who have signed.

Defence Employer Recognition Scheme 

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme recognises and rewards employers for their support to Defence personnel. The scheme encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employers that respectively pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to the Armed Forces community, and align their support with the Armed Forces Covenant. In 2017 to date, 35 organisations in the East Midlands have received a Bronze Award; nominations for 2017 Silver and Gold Awards are now being considered.

For a list of all employers who have received awards or to register for a Bronze award, go to the ERS website.


Employer events provide opportunities for briefing, informing, and thanking employers for their support to the Armed Forces community. On 22 May 17, a group of employers enjoyed a ‘London Heritage’ day; on 24 May, teams of employers and their Reservists took part in a golf tournament; on 17 June, a group of employers will attend the prestigious Trooping the Colour Ceremony on Horse Guards Parade.

Future Events

  • “Behind The Wire” Visit to the Army’s Training & Mobilisation Centre:

Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5HA

MTMC event

Employers visit mobilisation centre in 2016

Thursday 6 July 2017: 8.30 am to 2.00 pm

Hear about the role of the Army (regular and reserve); relationships with and potential benefits to employers. On a guided tour of the facilities, you will see: the medical and rehabilitation facilities; weapons, kit and equipment (with ‘hands-on’); training facilities, including counter improvised explosive devices (have a go) and an electronic simulated rifle range (have a go).

  • Personal development and leadership training with the Army:

The Army is providing a unique opportunity for civilian organisations to gain some insight and learning from the way the Army does leadership with relevance to you and the people in your organisation. On FREE one-day personal and professional development exercises, delegates are introduced to the way the Army teaches leadership, in theory and in practice.

The events are delivered in an engaging and interactive way with plenty of opportunity for thought provoking discussion and reflection. The events include 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.

20 Sep 17: Executive Leader is for established leaders in junior to middle management positions.

14 Oct 17: Future Leader is for employees not yet in supervisory or management positions or for those recently appointed.

Executive stretch

Executive Stretch 2016

Both events will take place at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, Nottingham NG9 5HA

For information on any of our events or queries on any Defence personnel matter, contact:

Cat Suckling (Assistant Regional Employer Engagement Director) or 0115 924 8622