Chichester College Group’s support for Armed Forces personnel – past, present and future – has been recognised with the Ministry of Defence Employers Recognition Silver Award.
To achieve the award, employers must demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces Community, which includes reservists, veterans and their families. The Silver award particularly recognises work in ensuring Armed Forces personnel are not unfairly disadvantaged in the workplace.
It follows last year’s signing of an Armed Forces Covenant, at which Chichester College pledged its support and demonstrated that it recognises the value of serving personnel, veterans, reservists and military families and has vowed to be Armed Forces-friendly. That involves everything from helping veterans – of all ages – gain education and training as well as employment to supporting staff who are reservists.
Many of the staff at Chichester College have a background in the Armed Forces – including Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chichester College Group Chief Executive, who served in the Army.
Shelagh said: “We are proud to have achieved the Silver Award in recognition of our commitment to supporting veterans, reservists and the Armed Forces community.
“We recognise the value of supporting employees from a military background. The experience, knowledge and skills veterans and reservists bring to our colleges is immense.
“It is our honour to champion our servicemen and women – past, present and future.”
Rob Giles is the Head of Learning for Sports and Public Services at Chichester College. He previously spent 26 years serving in the Royal Navy, before joining the college.
Within his department, he currently employs five former servicemen and women. He said: “I think the college really recognises that Armed Forces Veterans have skills that transfer brilliantly into the further education environment.
“They bring a lot of benefits, not just in terms of professional skills but attitude as well.
“Some veterans may struggle with the transition, moving from the forces into civilian life but the college is well equipped to help and provides support and assistance.
“Having been there myself, I know what it’s like and I know that there are opportunities.
“That’s a big thing about the college. It’s not just about employing servicemen and women, we’re somewhere they can come to retrain as there are lots of adult education courses that they can sign up to and find that new career.
“And, of course, we encourage recruitment into the forces with a lot of our students going on to sign up.
“We do a lot to support the active services and work closely with the military, from running an Army cadet group to competing at the Junior Leaders’ Field Gun competition, which is run by the Royal Navy.
“These help to inspire the next generation of servicemen and women, and that’s brilliant.”