Stonewall’s nation lesbian and gay recruitment guide 2008 includes first time appearances for several major organisations.

New entries in this year’s Starting Out include Rockpools, ITV, Thomson Reuters, The Law Society of England and Wales, NHS Employers and the Army joins the Royal Navy and Air Force for the first time.

Featuring 325 potential employers, it is the largest edition so far and is targeted at the 150,000 lesbian, gay and bisexual students in Britain.

“Attracting and retaining the very best staff, regardless of background, is now a fundamental part of business strategy for British companies wanting to remain market leaders, and public sector organisations striving to provide world-class public services,” said Stonewall chief executive Ben Summerskill.

20,000 hard copies of Starting Out are being distributed to Students’ Unions, University Careers Services, Employment Agencies and University Lesbian and Gay Societies and secondary schools across Britain. The guide is also available online at www.stonewall.org.uk/recruitmentguide

The guide has once again been sponsored by Credit Suisse.

In July the British Army became the 400th member of the Diversity Champions programme run by gay equality organisation Stonewall.

The scheme promotes best practice and gives organisations guidance and advice on how to create equality in the workplace.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are already members, alongside companies such as Barclays and IBM and many public sector bodies.

The Army will be working with Stonewall to promote good working conditions for all existing and potential employees and to ensure equal treatment for those who are lesbian, gay and bisexual.

LGB people have been allowed to serve in the Armed Forces since 2000.