SkillForce is proud to announce that the charity has been awarded gold in the Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.
The award means that SkillForce has been recognised as one of Britain’s top supporters of the Armed Forces and is among just 50 organisations to receive this status.
At SkillForce we employ predominantly ex-service personnel and train them as instructors in our programmes. These are aimed at 6-18 year olds and are delivered in partnership with schools. Our flagship Prince William Award is the only award scheme in The Duke’s name and uses the skills and knowledge of former Armed Forces members to help children develop confidence, resilience and self belief. The charity was last year awarded Silver in the MOD Employer Recognition Scheme but is thrilled to be honoured with a gold award this year.
The scheme awards organisations and businesses which show continued support for the Armed Forces. The Defence Employers Recognition Scheme encourages employers to support Defence and inspire others to do the same. It encompasses Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to Defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.
SkillForce employs veterans from the Army, Navy and Air Force, giving them the opportunity to develop a new career after their service and become ‘Heroes in schools’.
Our education programmes usually run over the course of an academic year and involve well-researched activities and reflection designed to help children and young people develop vital life skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, listening skills and resilience. The programmes are also geared around helping children to develop a good level of confidence and encouraging them to not only believe in themselves but to be happy and comfortable in their own skin.
SkillForce also runs a veterans support programme which gives help and advice to veterans who have come into contact with the criminal justice system or are in danger of doing so. This programme currently has two dedicated support workers, both of whom are also veterans.
Celebrating SkillForce’s Gold Award, CEO Ben Slade said:
“We are delighted to receive the Gold Award for actively supporting the Armed Forces in our workplace and encouraging others to follow our lead.
“Our commitment to developing and supporting our instructors, mainly former Armed Forces personnel and Reserves, ensures that the very highest level of skills and experience are used in our school programmes to develop the character of the UK’s most valuable asset, our young people.
“We are privileged to contribute to the support of our Armed Forces and proud to have our ongoing commitment recognised in this way by the Ministry of Defence.”
The Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Tobias Ellwood said:
“The breadth and diversity of this year’s winners shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to flourish. Their commitment is a testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.
“We all have a role to play in ensuring that the Armed Forces community is not disadvantaged by service, and each of these employers is a setting an example as meaningful advocates for those protecting the nation.”
SkillForce’s Royal Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge has previously paid special tribute to the skills of former service men and women and their role in the Prince William Award, saying:
“For me, what is so innovative about SkillForce is the way in which, using some of the most positive role models in society, it encourages self-discipline and respect for one another, old fashioned qualities which are needed evermore today.”
SkillForce is currently celebrating a successful first year of the Prince William Award with interim independent research showing that the award is changing lives and impacting on children’s confidence, resilience and emotional well-being. The award programme has seen the number of children it delivers to increase to almost 10, 000 over 2017/2018 and has ambitious plans to reach upwards of 21,000 by 2021.
The MOD Employer Recognition Scheme gold award is a fantastic achievement, helping to keep the charity focused on its continued success.