A FORMER Royal Air Force (RAF) serviceman is celebrating after his company, launched to help ex-military personnel find work, was honoured with a prestigious award from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Kayam Iqbal, from Bury, created OppO Recruitment Ltd in 2013 after overcoming his own struggles settling back in to civilian life.

The 39-year-old had been medically discharged from the RAF for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following 11 years of active duty, during which time he completed tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

His experiences inspired him to form the company, which he described as 'not your typical recruitment agency', providing services and candidates to some of the world's biggest companies.

OppO Recruitment has now been recognised by the MoD's Employer Recognition Scheme ­— the highest badge of an honour an employer can receive for supporting servicemen, veterans and their families.

Mr Iqbal said: "I am grateful to the MoD for recognising the work that OppO and myself have been doing for many years in supporting my former military colleagues transition back into civilian life.

“OppO Recruitment is proud to be one of UK's leaders within recruitment for ex-military personnel. I have spent many years serving my country and I will always continue to do so."

Based in Uxbridge, OppO Recruitment employs a team of eight people, four of whom have served or continue to serve in the armed forces.

The company also works to break down barriers between the armed forces and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.

In 2014 Mr Iqbal founded the OppO Foundation, a sister charity further supporting veterans and their families back on their return to civilian life.

Mr Iqbal's company is one of 100 firms to be recognised by the Employer Recognition Scheme and will receive the award at a ceremony at the National Army Museum in London on November 12.

Ben Wallace MP, the Secretary of State for Defence, said: “These awards recognise the outstanding support for our armed forces from employers across Britain and I would like to thank and congratulate each and every one.

“Regardless of size, location or sector, employing ex-forces personnel is good for business and this year we have doubled the number of awards in recognition of the fantastic support they give.”