DHL Supply Chain has been awarded gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme after recruiting 520 veterans in the past 12 months and expanding the scheme's support services.

The delivery company, which has been a signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant since 2015, was first awarded gold status in 2017.

Since then DHL has expanded its programme to offer more support services, and recruited a significant number of veterans, with 520 joining in the last 12 months.

The Gold Award recognises DHL's proactive approach to recruitment and career development, as well as employing a dedicated Armed Forces recruiter with a military background.

To help overcome the challenge some service leavers face when entering civilian careers, DHL provides CV writing coaching, as well as a tailored recruitment process that looks for individual pathways for veterans, matching skills and capabilities with roles and translating the relevance of ranks and experience. This helps ensure that candidates aren’t overlooked.

Once in employment, a buddy scheme and a dedicated group in DHL’s employee app gives colleagues the opportunity to connect with fellow veterans for advice, coaching and support.

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Jim Hartshorne, DHL Supply Chain managing director of retail, consumer and Ireland, said: “By creating an environment for a community to come together, we’ve seen our veteran colleagues support one another, provide guidance for others looking for second careers and become advocates for the logistics industry. We’d strongly encourage more businesses in our industry to join the Covenant and take part in the scheme.”

Going forward, DHL plans to build on the success of the programme by recruiting more women service leavers and providing support and career opportunities for spouses or children of Armed Services personnel or service leavers.