United Utilities scoops Gold again for support of Armed Forces personnel

As one of the first companies to be awarded the highest level of recognition for commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community, water and wastewater company United Utilities has now become one of the first companies to be reaccredited.

The scheme is run by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and encourages employers across the UK to recognise the value that members of the Armed Forces community bring to their respective workplaces.

The MoD Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Gold Award is the scheme’s highest accolade for employers. It is awarded to companies that can demonstrate the support it gives military personnel and veterans.

Richard Waggitt, Regional Engineering Manager in Bioresources and Head of the Armed Forces Network at United Utilities said – “I am thrilled that United Utilities has been awarded this top award. We are a company that really does look after our Forces personnel and one that I am proud to work for.

“As ex-Air Force myself, I speak from experience when I say that the support and encouragement we offer to Armed Forces leavers, that I have experienced over the years, has been both beneficial to the individual, and the company.

“There are lots of transferable skills which we find really useful. Military personnel tend to have good discipline, they prepare and they follow things through.”

Andy Tang, Technology Maintenance Delivery Lead at United Utilities and an Army reservist, working in the 156 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps in Liverpool, is testament to the company’s support.  He recently got back to his desk after helping lead one of the UK’s greatest peacetime logistical challenges, to support the UK’s COVID response:

“The company supported my 12-month career break, during which time I planned to help the global coalition in the Middle East, but when COVID-19 changed all this, I used my project management skills to support the country’s response to the pandemic,” said Andy.

Now back at his desk, Andy is proud to be part of a company that continues to grow its relationship with the MoD, “The support I receive, as I combine my work with being a reservist is fantastic. I have also witnessed first-hand ex-personnel who are returning to civilian life, getting the support they need as they make that transition.”

In a letter to the company, confirming reaccreditation as a Gold Award winner, Major General Simon Brooks-Ward, Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (People) said, “on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces, I congratulate you on your Gold Award revalidation and thank you for all you are doing to support our Service personnel, veterans and their families.

“Achieving a Gold Award is a significant achievement in its own right. It signifies the provision of a very high level of support [and] demonstrates that you have continued deliver that support over a five-year period and that you are committed to do so in the future.”