2020-GCU clinches a Gold Award for its outstanding

GCU clinches a Gold Award for its outstanding support of veterans and their families

Fri, 31 Jul 2020 14:39:00 BST
Proudly supporting those who serve
Proudly supporting those who serve

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) has been honoured with a prestigious Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence in recognition of its outstanding support of the Armed Forces community.

Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of GCU, said: "The University is delighted to have been honoured by the Ministry of Defence with a Gold Award for outstanding support of Armed Forces veterans and their families.

"As the University for the Common Good, we are proud to support veterans' reintegration into society and to develop their impressive range of transferable skills, in order to progress with further study or employment.

"Veterans make a hugely valuable contribution to our University community and to society as a whole and we look forward to providing future opportunities for our brave former service men and women."

To win an award, organisations must demonstrate that they provide 10 extra paid days leave for reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, reserves, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, spouses and partners of those serving in the armed forces.

They also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the armed forces community encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and to engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

GCU Veterans and Armed Forces Champion Jim Castle said he was immensely proud to have been supporting the military community since 2013 and delighted that the University had clinched top award.

He added: "I am delighted and honoured that the prestigious Gold Award has been bestowed on the University.  It has been an absolute pleasure to have led the charge to support this fantastic group of people.  I would like to thank all those who have supported me in making this happen." 

"As the University for the Common Good, our core values of confidence, integrity, responsibility and creativity have significant synergy with those of HM Forces.  GCU can therefore offer something of a home from home to those who are transitioning or are still a part of the organisation that keeps us safe."

Last November, GCU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning, Teaching and Student Experience) Professor Valerie Webster attended a ceremony at Edinburgh Castle where she was presented with the Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award by Major General Simon Brooks-Ward in recognition of the University's support for veterans.

Now, less than a year later, Professor Webster described winning the Gold Award as "fantastic recognition" for the University's support for Armed Forces veterans.

She said: "An Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for GCU is fantastic recognition of our support of veterans and their families, particularly during what can be a challenging time of transition, seeking opportunities for further study or employment. As a leading University committed to widening access to higher education, I am delighted that GCU's core values have been recognised with this award."

GCU was among 127 Gold winners who will receive their awards during a two-week national online campaign of celebration for their achievements in October whilst adhering to strict Covid-19 social distancing measures.

Johnny Mercer, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, said: "The breadth and diversity of the winners this year shows how business support for the Armed Forces continues to grow no matter the sector, company size or location. I am grateful for the positive attitude and flexible policies these organisations have adapted towards the defence community, which is testament to the fantastic contribution our serving personnel, veterans and their families can make to any organisation.

"I am delighted that so many companies are supporting our people and that, through this scheme, we can give them the public recognition they deserve."