Meet Our Winners: Atkins, winner of the Large Employer of the Year Award

This award, sponsored by OBXteK, recognises the contributions of businesses who employ over 200 people, and to be eligible for the award they need to show how they are using their resources to help service personnel transition from military to civilian employment, alongside helping Veterans and their dependents to realise their full potential in the civilian workforce.

Most will have heard of Atkins, the design, engineering and project management consultancy who have worked on such projects as high-speed rail and the Olympic Games, but they may not be aware of the sterling work they do to fulfil the briefs outlined for this award. Atkins have been vocal in the benefits they feel ex-Armed Forces personnel bring to their roles with the company, notably their transferable skills, knowledge and experience they gained during their service. Atkins gained the Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award in 2015 for their programme ‘Partnering with the Armed Forces’ (PwAF), through which they support Veterans during the transition to civilian employment and have appointed 2 dedicated resources to this programme, an Armed Forces Champion and a Programme Manager to co-ordinate and communicate with Veterans throughout the process. They have also appointed PwAF site reps as points of contact for service leavers in 11 different locations. In addition to this, Atkins are signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant and are vocal in their own communications channels regarding the benefits of employing service leavers. Benefits they offer also include 10 days paid leave to reservists, alongside in-house initiatives. In the future they hope to expand opportunities to spouses of military personnel, alongside expanding their Veterans programme into internships and formalised work placements. They say:

“Working with Veterans and reservists, as well as the wider military community, has taught the business the importance of their knowledge, skills and resilience. Coming from a defence background, these employees have many transferable skills that are invaluable to our business. Their ‘can do’ attitude is inspirational to those around them and their leadership skills are second to none.”

To find out more about Atkins, please click here.