Shield Security has become one of the first businesses in the country to be officially recognised by the Government for providing excellent support to the Armed Forces.
Directors David Frank and Phil Mackay were presented with a silver award in the newly launched Employer Recognition Scheme, recognising the company’s ongoing commitment to supporting employees who need time away from work to train for the TA, or to serve their country.
Trained to a very high standard, those who are part of the Reserve Forces can be mobilised wherever needed to work alongside Britain’s regular Armed Forces, including the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines, the Army Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
It means they need to have flexibility in their working arrangements to allow them to fulfil the role, something Shield has provided to its staff for many years.
“It can be difficult for businesses to provide the time off needed by those in the Reserve Forces, but ultimately, if businesses don’t support it, we won’t have enough people filling these very important roles for the country,” said Mr Frank.
“The number of staff we have in the Reserve Forces fluctuates from year to year, but we make it clear that being part of the forces is not detrimental to their position here. We look to support them, and of course, we benefit as their training improves them as people and employees.”
Shield employs more than 300 security officers and specialists across the north of England, monitoring and guarding thousands of commercial and public premises, from local authority sites to hospitals and sports clubs.
They were presented with the award by the UK’s most senior reservist, Major General John Crackett, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff for Reserves and Cadets, at a special ceremony at Imphal Barracks, York.
Mr Frank, who himself served in the army for 25 years before being responsible for training programmes at the TA in Hull for many years, met his fellow director Mr Mackay during their time together at the TA, and says their background has undoubtedly been a major factor in the firm’s approach.
“We gave many years to the army and Reserve Forces, so we recognised the importance for employees to be at a company which is going to support them in the role,” he added.
“That means we do give them the extra weeks off when they have their training each year, and we also ensure that we plan our security shifts around any weekend or evening training. It’s all about flexibility, and looking at the bigger picture.”
Ten organisations across Yorkshire and Humber were among the first recognised nationally as Silver award holders, with Hull City Council and Hull-based William Jackson Food Group also recognised.
Colonel Carron Snagge, Chief Executive of the Reserve Forces And Cadets Association in Yorkshire and The Humber (RFCA), said: “The RFCA, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, is very pleased to be recognising the level of support and commitment these organisations are providing to our Armed Forces.
“Each recipient has demonstrated that, because they value the standards of the Armed Forces, they are prepared to help reservists, ex regulars and cadet adult instructors in the work place.
“These standards provide these potential employees with skills for life – motivation, self-discipline, confidence, communication, teamwork and leadership – all of which will make a positive contribution to any employer’s bottom line.
“Combined with professional qualifications – for example, first aid, health and safety, and driving and technical qualifications, all of which are now accredited by professional bodies, the benefits are simply reinforced.
“The organisations receiving these awards have demonstrated their support for this initiative and I am delighted that they have been recognised appropriately.”