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13 October, 2017 - 13:17 By Tony Quested

Prince Harry honours Suffolk-based defence industry stalwart

Prince Harry with Morson

Suffolk-based Morson Group has struck gold with Prince Harry for its work on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The company, which repairs and maintains Apache helicopters for the British Army, received an Armed Forces Covenant Gold Employer Recognition Scheme Award from the Royal celebrity on behalf of the MoD at a ceremony in London hosted by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

Operating at Wattisham Airfield, a former RAF station, Morson Group not only carries out major servicing of the helicopters but also maintains a pool of aircraft ready for the Army to deploy at short notice.

Among its other specialisms, Morson Group provides industry leading technical recruitment and design solutions in engineering across multiple sectors – including rail, aerospace and defence, nuclear, IT and cyber security – with temporary and permanent jobs. 

It works with many of the world’s leading companies, often as preferred, sole or managed service supplier and in 2016 had a turnover in excess of £806 million: 165 people work for the Morson Group in Wattisham with many service leavers in employment.

The Morson Group has shown outstanding support for the Reserve Forces and Service leavers since 2014 and continues to develop its partnership with Defence. The company fully supports mobilised employees with a dedicated Reserves champion assisting with pre-deployment and return to work. 

Helicopter MorsonMorson has also helped to establish the REME Aviation Reserves, which has provided a new career pathway for some of Morson’s Apache attack helicopter technicians who are contributing their sought-after skills to a suitable Reserve role.

CEO Ged Mason said: “It is a real honour and we are proud to be awarded this accreditation. Our armed forces are special and it is only right we support them in their career progression and development as they have protected our country. 

“I am pleased our employees across the business are dedicated to supporting them through the Career Transition Partnership and other initiatives.”

Prince Harry thanked this year’s winners and heard about successful initiatives providing veterans with a fair chance of starting a second career in diverse industries following military service. 

Other support measures in the workplace include flexibility for Reservists and mentoring and job opportunities for military spouses.

The award scheme, which attracts entries from companies in every part of the country and in the private and public sectors, has seen a rapid increase in participation since it launched in 2014. This year only 33 companies across the UK have been awarded Gold.

Sir Michael said: “This year’s Gold award winners should be extremely proud of the work they are doing to live up to the Armed Forces Covenant pledge and to promote the pledge to others.

“I’m delighted to recognise employers who make it crystal clear that regardless of size, location, or sector, employing people with military skills is good for business. I hope others follow their example, delivering a better deal for veterans and armed forces families.”

Jon Moon, who is now a contracts manager for Morson, was a sergeant in the Army and served for 15 years. He said: “Making the transition from military to civilian life is, at times, tricky to navigate but I soon realised my organisational and planning skills were easily transferable and invaluable to me and my future employers.

“I hope this award encourages other organisations to review their approach towards the recruitment of ex-forces personnel.”

• Pictured top of page (from left to right): Prince Harry with Morson CEO Ged Mason, Dale Ransley, Morson contracts manager Jon Moon and Sir Michael Fallon.

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