The 12 employers from across Wales were recognised for the outstanding support they give to the Armed Forces Community at the awards ceremony held at Hensol Castle on 1 December.
The glittering awards evening began with a drinks reception with guests treated to music provided by The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra.
The compère for the evening was Sian Lloyd, with the welcome address given by Hannah Blythyn MS Deputy Minister for Social Partnership.
Recipients from Wales were: Admiral Group Plc, Cardiff County Council, Denbighshire County Council, Ebarr Foundation CIC, Hugh James, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Pro Steel Engineering Ltd, Rubicon Facilities Management Ltd, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Veterans Award CIC, Woody’s Lodge and Wrexham County Borough Council.
The awards were presented jointly by Rear Admiral Jude Terry OBE, Brigadier Andrew Dawes CBE, Commander 160th (Welsh) Brigade, Brigadier Jock Fraser MBE ADC Royal Marines and Air Officer Wales, Air Commodore Adrian Williams OBE.
The keynote address was given by Rear Admiral Jude Terry OBE – the Royal Navy’s first female admiral. Guests also heard from Air Specialist 1 Malembe Makawa of @614 Squadron RAuxAF (Royal Auxiliary Air Force), who spoke about what motivated him to join the RAF reserves.
Awarded by the Ministry of Defence, the Employer Recognition Scheme formally recognises organisations that employ and support those who serve in the Armed Forces, veterans and their families. Across the UK, 156 organisations received the Gold award this year.
To win the Gold award, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.
Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.
Head of People at Admiral Group Rhian Langham said:
We’re thrilled to be recognised with the prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. Inclusivity is a key part of our culture at Admiral, and we’re proud to create an environment where everyone feels supported.
Our colleagues with Armed Forces connections have such a positive impact on our business, particularly through their impressive resilience and adaptability, and we’re committed to continue giving them the support they need.
Richard Selby, director and co-founder, Pro Steel Engineering said:
We are absolutely thrilled to be one of only 156 organisations throughout the UK to achieved the highest-level award. As an organisation, we have been committed to the welfare and opportunities for veterans, their families and the wider communities for many years, and by continuing our work with RFCA for Wales, we have been able to continue enhancing policies and working practices to support the Armed Forces. From our experience, employing staff with military experience has helped to strengthen our business and we hope this award helps to encourage veterans and reservists to continue to work with us in the future.
Mr Tony Fish, the MOD’s Regional Employer Engagement Director for North Wales said:
We’re delighted that so many employers in Wales have been recognised with this Gold Award. These companies have taken the time to ensure our Armed Forces community is supported.
The Employer Recognition Scheme was launched in 2014 by the then Prime Minister David Cameron to recognise employer support for the wider principles of the Armed Forces Covenant and the full spectrum of Defence personnel. This includes the Reserves, service leavers, cadets, spouses and wounded, injured and sick.
See the full list of Employer Recognition Scheme Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners.
The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation ensuring that those who serve or who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly. Find out more information about the Armed Forces Covenant and how to get involved.
2022 marks the ninth year of the award scheme. To find out more about the ERS and how your organisation could support Defence personnel in the workplace through the Armed Forces Covenant contact: