Published on 20/07/2021
Armed forces


  • Aston University Engineering Academy receives Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award 
  • Gold Awards are the highest badge of honour awarded to organisations that employ and support serving members of the armed forces, veterans and their families
  • Awards were announced by Defence Minister on 16 July

Aston University Engineering Academy is one of only 15 organisations in the West Midlands and 140 organisations across the country to receive the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award for their outstanding support towards the Armed Forces community.

The Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Awards, announced by Defence Minister Leo Docherty on 16 July, represent the highest badge of honour and are awarded to those that employ and support those who serve, veterans and their families. 

To win an award, organisations must provide 10 extra paid days’ leave for Reservists and have supportive HR policies in place for veterans, Reserves, and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, as well as spouses and partners of those serving in the Armed Forces.

Organisations must also advocate the benefits of supporting those within the Armed Forces community by encouraging others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and engage in the Employer Recognition Scheme.

This year’s awardees bring the total number of Gold holders to 493.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty, said: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.

“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”

Daniel Locke-Wheaton, principal of Aston University Engineering Academy, said:

“We are proud of our record of supporting the Armed Forces community. With over 120 cadets in our technical school, we recognise the knowledge and transferable skills that the Armed Forces bring to our school and we are committed to continuing to improve the support we provide for employing veterans, reservists and supporting forces’ families.”

Notes to editors

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world. 

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7557 745416 or email: 


Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Claire Fry, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5068

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159

Alternatively, email

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