Palletways UK has won an Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Silver Award in recognition of its efforts to employ and train former members of the armed forces.

Palletways UK is one of 23 employers to be awarded Silver this year by the Ministry of Defence. The ERS Award formally recognises organisations that actively support the Armed Forces community, including veterans.

To secure the Silver Award, companies must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant and proactively demonstrate that service personnel are not unfairly disadvantaged as part of their recruiting and selection processes,  actively ensure their workforce is aware of their positive policies towards defence people issues, and demonstrate support to mobilisations or have a framework in place. They must also demonstrate training support for service personnel by providing at least five days additional unpaid or paid leave

Palletways' ERS Silver Award follows the launch of Operation Clearview - the network'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 experience what it’s like to pursue a career within each sector.

Rob Gittins, Palletways UK managing director, said: “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.”

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Maggie Williamson, Palletways general manager for service excellence, is one of a number of ex-forces personnel working at the network. She joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) when she was 18 years old and served as a Sergeant in the WRAC as a data telegraphist, working in Cyprus and at various camps in Germany and Northern Ireland.

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. Eighteen 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.”