In September, we launched our employment and training platform, Forces Families Jobs (FFJ), alongside our partners from the Naval and RAF families federations. The website was designed as a direct result of our research with Warwick University, which recommended that you needed a one-stop-shop to support all your employment needs. Employment & training specialist Laura Lewin tells us more…
AT OUR launch at the House of Lords, Jess Sands, who runs the InDependent Spouse and is a military spouse, spoke to a packed audience.
“As spouses, we have access to some great initiatives to help our businesses and employment – but as a community we are spread over the country and the world, so it’s difficult to find this stuff – until now.
“Forces Families Jobs has created a place for us all to access. By supporting the spouse with employment and training, you will be helping our serving personnel do the best job that they can.
“By giving partners their own identity through employment, you allow a spouse to financially contribute, freeing up the pressure on the serving person. By providing access to develop the skills they’ve already used during their working lives, you help a spouse retain their identity and their mental health.
“By providing access to inspirational role models and an online virtual network, you’re showing partners that they’re not alone or isolated in this military world.
“And by helping this community, we will never turn to our partners and ask them to leave a job they love, because our own sacrifices are too much to bear.”
Suzy Ives is head of finance at Balfour Beatty and a military spouse. She said: “Forces Families Jobs is all about empowerment.
“It’s about giving a community tools to enable them to reach a potential they never knew they had. It’s about the employers being part of their success story and benefitting from it too.”
Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, spoke passionately about why the platform was so needed and followed up by tweeting: “Spousal employment sits alongside other top priorities for me – some seriously talented spouses, and a skills market that needs them.”
We’ve been promoting FFJ all over the world, from Wiltshire to Canada, and feedback has been positive: “It is great to have something where families are at the heart of it; it’s about us and our careers; our futures and helping our families. I love it,” said army spouse Becky.
Sarah, who is currently posted overseas, concluded: “It makes me want to look at training courses and things I can do to get ready for when we move back to the UK.”
You can sign up wherever you are in the world and start utilising support from the training section until you’re able to secure your dream job. If you source employment through FFJ, I’d love to hear from you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to forcesfamiliesjobs.co.uk to make your next career move.