Palletways UK has been announced as an Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award winner in recognition of its work to support those who are - or have - served our country.
Awarded by the UK Ministry of Defence, the ERS Award formally recognises organisations that actively support the Armed Forces community which includes reservists, veterans, spouses, cadet force adult volunteers and cadets. The ERS scheme - which encourages employers to support defence - 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.
Palletways UK is one of 23 employers to be awarded Silver this year.
To secure the Silver Award, companies must have:
• Signed the Armed Forces Covenant
• Stated their intent to be supportive by using the ERS website to register at the Bronze level
• Proactively demonstrated that service personnel/armed forces community are not unfairly disadvantaged as part of their recruiting and selection processes
• Actively ensured their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues
• Demonstrated support to mobilisations or have a framework in place and must demonstrate support to training by providing at least five days additional unpaid/paid leave
Maggie Williamson, General Manager Service Excellence of Palletways UK, is just one of many ex-forces personnel to work at the pallet giant. She joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) at the tender age of 18 to pursue a career she’d dreamt of since primary school - she served as a Sergeant in the WRAC as a Data Telegraphist and worked in Cyprus and various camps in Germany and Northern Ireland. Commenting, she said: “It was the most amazing time and the Army made me the person I am today. However, returning to civilian life was scary. I moved to Shropshire with a few of my expatriate friends to start a new life and was I grateful to receive support from an ex-forces employment agency that helped me kick start my search for a new career.
“After two long-term jobs, I interviewed to join Palletways. As soon as I stepped through the door, I knew I wanted to work here – everyone was so welcoming and friendly. 18 years on, it’s still a great honour to be part of the Palletways team and I’m particularly proud that it has signed the Armed Forces Covenant. Now that my first career and current role have joined forces, I look forward to more exciting times and potentially meeting more veterans like myself.”
Rob Gittins, Managing Director of Palletways UK, added: “We couldn’t be more proud of this Award win - tapping into the skills and experience of the armed forces community will add value to our business and it’d be our privilege to welcome more ex-forces personnel to our team.”
The ERS Silver Award follows the launch of Operation Clearview - Palletways UK’s fully-funded transition programme for service leavers to help them adapt to civilian working life. The six-week, fully-funded work placement offers former service personnel the opportunity to work in rotation across Palletways’ six key business areas, including Marketing and Sales, HR, Finance, Health and Safety, Hub Operations, and Fulfilment and Owned Depots. Through experiencing work in each department, service leaders will experience what it’s like to pursue a career within each sector.