• Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

North East Connected

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North Yorkshire County Council has been given the Silver Employer Recognition Scheme award by the Ministry of Defence.


The Silver award is given to employers who:

  • Demonstrate support for service personnel and employ at least one member of the armed forces community
  • Uphold a positive stance to their employees via established policies and procedures
  • Show flexibility towards annual training commitments and mobilisation of reservist employees and support the employment of cadet instructors, armed forces veterans (including wounded, injured and sick) and military spouses and partners
  • Sign the Armed Forces Covenant and employ at least one person from the covenant category the nomination emphasises.


The award is a certificate signed by the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff. It was presented at a ceremony in York to the County Council Chairman, Cllr Val Arnold, by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Mr Barry Dodd, and Brigadier Gerald M Strickland, the Commander of 4th Infantry Brigade based at Catterick.

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Carl Les, who also represents one of the County Council divisions in the Catterick area, said: “The County Council is proud to be receiving the Silver award and is proud of its strong connections with all armed forces communities in the county – serving personnel, reservists, veterans and their families.

“North Yorkshire is home to the country’s biggest army base, Catterick Garrison, together with associated barracks at Dishforth, Ripon and Topcliffe. We are particularly pleased about the recent announcement of substantial investment at Catterick and the creation of a super-garrison with an additional 2,000 personnel over the next 10 years.’’

North Yorkshire is also home to three RAF stations – Linton-on-Ouse, Leeming and Fylingdales – and the Harrogate-based Army Foundation College, which offers a unique opportunity for junior soldiers to gain the skills needed for the modern army.

Cllr Les said: “The military presence in North Yorkshire has a substantial and positive impact on the county. Too often, the scale and positive nature of this impact is underappreciated.’’

There are about 15,000 people employed by the Ministry of Defence in North Yorkshire.  About 88% of these are in uniform and 12% are civilians.  In addition, there are two or three times as many family members, together making a very substantial part of the county’s population.

The size of the military presence in North Yorkshire has provided the “critical mass” for investments in educational, retail and leisure services and has supported the housing market. It also has the potential to bring many skilled service leavers into the local workforce

Cllr Arnold said: “Within the County Council, we have worked hard to ensure that our services meet the needs of all local people – which includes all members of the armed forces community, those serving now and those who served in the past, and their families.

“We positively welcome the members of the armed forces community as employees.  We employ wives, husbands and family members of serving personnel; we employ members of the reserve forces and have released them when requested for service including deployment in Afghanistan; and we employ veterans.’’

The County Council was one of the first local authorities to sign the Armed Forces Covenant, leading the way in April 2011 with a single covenant for the county signed by eight local authorities, the NHS, Police, many voluntary organisations and the Army, RAF and Royal Navy.