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College of West Anglia first in the UK to receive prestigious award from armed forces




The College of West Anglia has been awarded the highest accolade available as an employer by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The MoD announced the college as a winner of the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award, becoming the first college in the scheme's five year history to receive gold.

The ERS gold award is the highest accolade an employer can receive for actively supporting the Armed Forces community in the workplace and also for encouraging other employers to follow their lead.

CWA students present a cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund. (16058151)
CWA students present a cheque to the RAF Benevolent Fund. (16058151)

The award is so difficult to attain that only 100 employers in 2019 have been recognised by Defence Minister Ben Wallace with 11 of those based in East Anglia.

The College of West Anglia (CWA) have a longstanding relationship with the Armed Forces which was recently enhanced by the launch of the Air & Defence Career College Programme. Employing more than 20 Veterans and several Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, the college have an internal military network and supportive HR policies in place.

The college works with the Navy, Army and RAF Families Federations to understand areas of need. CWA’s Employer Engagement team attend RAF Marham to hold monthly CWA Course Advice Clinics. This is resulted in CWA delivering bespoke courses at RAF Marham, such as Beginners Polish and GCSE Maths.

Air and Defence College Graduation Ceremony held at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.Picture: Chris Vaughan Photography for Lincoln College(16058144)
Air and Defence College Graduation Ceremony held at RAF Cranwell, Lincolnshire.Picture: Chris Vaughan Photography for Lincoln College(16058144)

CWA principal, David Pomfret said: “It is a huge honour to become the first UK college in the five-year history of the ERS to receive the gold award. For many years we have maintained a close relationship with the Armed Forces community, which has been fostered due to the dedicated commitment of our staff, many of whom are ex-servicemen and women, reservists and our students, who often leave the college to become valued members of the Armed Forces.

We will continue to support, facilitate and help the Armed Forces in all that we do as an employer, and we very much value the numerous ways in which the Armed Forces contribute to the success of the college, too.”

Representatives of the college will attend a formal awards ceremony to take place at the National Army Museum, London in November. Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “Veterans make a huge contribution to businesses across the country and it’s fantastic to see a record breaking number of organisations recognised for their support.

“We’re working closely with businesses to help them further understand the huge value that veterans, reservists and military spouses can bring to their organisation.”

Kristina Carrington, regional employer engagement director for East Anglia, said: “It gives me tremendous pleasure to see our Advocates being recognised for the commitment, dedication and enthusiasm they give to Defence People and on behalf of everyone involved – Thank You.”



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