AN AWARD is seeking to recognise Stirling Council for its support to the armed forces community.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award came from the Ministry of Defence, a badge of honour for those that employ and support serving personnel, veterans and their families.

Kristine Johnson, chief officer for HR and OD, spearheaded the initiative locally and accepted the award from General Sir Nick Carter.

She said: “The council signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant in 2012, and it’s about us ensuring serving personnel, their spouses and family, veterans and reservists are not disadvantaged after having served or continue to serve.

“This can be in relation to housing, education or even health.

“As an employer, we have been working to the standards in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme, obtaining the Silver Award in 2014, which was renewed in 2017.

“We have continued to develop our support for reservists and adult cadet volunteers, offering leave to attend training or support when mobilised.

“For veterans who have changed careers, having served in the armed forces, we offer a guaranteed interview where they meet the criteria for the post.

“We recognise their transferable skills and we have an armed forces network, which gives employees from across the council the opportunity to meet and share experiences.”

Stirling is one of eight local authorities in Scotland to achieve the gold award.

Ben Wallace, defence secretary, added: “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.”