News

University receives Gold Ministry of Defence award for supporting the Armed Forces community

16 July 2021

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.

Paula Holt smiling at the camera

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.

Dr Paula Holt MBE
Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care

Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, who served as an army officer, has been appointed Armed Forces Champion for the institution and is working closely with a range of veteran and military support organisations and charities to ensure that there is support for veterans, reservists and cadet adult volunteers.

Speaking about the Gold award, Dr Holt said: “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.”

Click here to find out more about the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS).

For more information about the University of Derby and the Armed Forces Covenant, visit our website.

Gold Award logo for the 2021 Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme

For further information contact the Corporate Communications team at pressoffice@derby.ac.uk or call 01332 593419.