College of West Anglia first in the UK to receive top armed forces award

The College of West Anglia is one of the first to receive a gold award for actively supporting the armed forces community in the workplace. Presenting a cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Picture: CWA

The College of West Anglia is one of the first to receive a gold award for actively supporting the armed forces community in the workplace. Presenting a cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund. Picture: CWA

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The College of West Anglia is one of the first to receive a gold award for supporting the armed forces community in the workplace.

Air & Defence College graduation ceremony held at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.

Picture: Chris VaughanAir & Defence College graduation ceremony held at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire. Picture: Chris Vaughan

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced that the college is one of 100 employers in 2019 to get the employer recognition scheme (ERS) gold award.

The College of West Anglia (CWA) has a longstanding relationship with the armed forces which was recently enhanced by the launch of the Air & Defence Career College programme.

Employing more than 20 Veterans, several reservists and cadet force adult volunteers, CWA has an internal military network and supportive HR policies in place.

CWA principal, David Pomfret, said: "It is a huge honour to become the first UK college in the five-year history of the ERS to receive the gold award.

"For many years we have maintained a close relationship with the armed forces community.

"This has been fostered due to the dedicated commitment of our staff, many of whom are ex-servicemen and women, reservists and our students, who often leave the college to become valued members of the armed forces.

"We will continue to support, facilitate and help the armed forces in all that we do as an employer, and we very much value the numerous ways in which the armed forces contribute to the success of the college, too."

The ERS gold award is the highest accolade an employer can receive for actively supporting the armed forces community in the workplace and also for encouraging other employers to follow their lead.

The college is one of 11 companies in East Anglia to be recognised with the award by Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace.

Mr Wallace said: "These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

"Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give."

CWA work with the navy, army and RAF Families Federations to understand areas of need.

Their employer engagement team also attend RAF Marham to hold monthly course advice clinics which resulted in bespoke courses at the base, such as beginners Polish and GCSE maths.

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Representatives of the college will attend a formal awards ceremony to take place at the National Army Museum, London, in November.

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