National Express has joined the ranks of a newly-launched gold winners Alumni Group, thanks to its support for the UK armed forces.
The operator has previously been recognised with a ‘gold’ Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) award at Number 10 for its ongoing support for the forces.
The Alumni Group, set up by global engineering company Atkins, will collaborate to further develop the aims of the Armed Forces Covenant and tighten the ties between defence and employers.
The Alumni Group is open to all UK organisations that hold a Gold Defence ERS award. Its members are part of a wider community of over 1,300 companies from the private and public sector – of which National Express was the first – that have signed the Covenant and are working to ensure that serving or former members of the Armed Forces and their families get a fair deal. The Armed Forces Covenant relies on the support of the wider community to achieve its aims and said that business is a key part of that.
The creation of the group has been undertaken in partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MOD), including the Defence Relationship Management and Employer Engagement teams, although it will be led and driven by business.
The Alumni Group will work closely with MOD to promote the Armed Forces Covenant, champion Armed Forces engagement with employers and provide an informed
and influential stakeholder sounding board for new initiatives that build on what has already been achieved.
Brigadier Mark van der Lande CBE, Head of Reserves, Reserve Forces and Cadets, said: “We commend this initiative from our ERS Gold award winners – another great example of how employers are putting the Armed Forces Covenant into action to support our forces.”The Employer Recognition Scheme Gold award winners have raised the bar for employer support and are well-placed to share best practice and inspire other employers to follow their lead and experience the benefits of doing so.”