Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce has been given the highest badge of honour for its continuing support of the Armed Forces.

The Chamber has been awarded gold status in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) having recently retained silver status.

The scheme, which was launched in 2014 is part of the national Armed Forces Covenant, has bronze, silver and gold levels. Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce was the first Chamber in the UK to sign the Armed Forces Covenant along with all members of its board and their associated companies.

The ERS encourages businesses to support defence and inspire others to do the same. The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the armed forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant.

Dunbartonshire Chamber has been a key partner to this end and, together with 3 other Scottish Chambers established “ChamberForce” in partnership with HRFCA specifically to support the work of HRFCA, Defence & Armed Forces.

In the last 5 years activity has focused on increasing the profile for the Armed Forces Covenant within the business community, encouraging ERS submissions and raising awareness about the wide range of transferable skills amongst armed forces personnel.

Dunbartonshire Chamber works closely with Armed Forces buddies at 7Scots and at Faslane Naval base including co-hosting showcase events and tours of Faslane. A number of key businesses have been observers the Joint Warrior exercises which provide an important insight into the value of both full time and reservist activities and the range of transferable skills.

Minister for Defence People Leo Docherty said: “Regardless of size, location or sector, employing members of the Armed Forces community is good for businesses.

These awards recognise the outstanding support for our Armed Forces from employers across the UK and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.”

Damon Scott, Chief Executive, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We were delighted to receive the Gold ERS Award, the highest level of recognition for our work as part of ChamberForce Armed Forces Partnership.”

Damon will attend a special awards ceremony at Stirling Castle in November at which he will be officially presented with the Gold Award.

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Chamber admin are responsible for the day to day running of the chamber, dealing with enquiries, membership as well as organising events and meetings.