The University of Derby has been awarded Gold in the 2021 Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community.
The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards and encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.
Gold award holders must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, employ people from the Armed Forces, hold a valid ERS Silver Award and proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials in their recruiting and selection processes.
As part of its commitment to the ERS, Derby has been working to embed and demonstrate support to the Armed Forces across all levels and departments of the organisation. In 2017, the University signed the Armed Forces Covenant and reaffirmed its commitment in 2020.
The University has revised its recruitment process to ensure members of the Armed Forces are recognised when they apply for roles at the University and it supports the ‘Step into Health’ initiative with the University Hospitals of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, to encourage veterans to consider careers in the NHS.
I am incredibly proud that the University has received this prestigious award for our work with serving and former Armed Forces personnel and their families.
“As well as engaging in research we actively support veterans and their families across Derbyshire and beyond. We have engaged in employability and resettlement activities and have ensured our own policies and working practices support and encourage staff commitment to reservist and cadet activities.’’
Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “I am delighted that the University of Derby has been awarded the Ministry of Defence’s highest badge of honour in recognition of our commitment to the Armed Forces community.
“At Derby, we are keen to attract service leavers as employees, and to encourage them to start new careers, education and training with us, recognising the outstanding transferable skills that veterans bring that can be built on in a second career.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty, added: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.
“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”
The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.