The fact that spousal employment is one of the major issues military families face isn’t news to us here at AFF. We know that the mobile lifestyle, not living near family for childcare support and the uncertainty of postings, can make it hard to find a job – and even harder to pursue a career, writes AFF chief executive Sara Baade (pictured above).
But what’s not always been clear is what tangible changes we could ask for to improve the situation. Therefore, last year we commissioned the University of Warwick to explore solutions.
Apart from making the army geographically stable, which is not going to happen yet in my opinion, there are no magic answers. However, from Warwick’s report, there were several recommendations including to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for everything to do with spousal employment, to host jobs and training opportunities specifically for serving families.
There are lots of employers and training providers keen to support the serving community, but the research found that many employers struggled to reach our community and only ten per cent of the spouses asked knew what support was available to them in terms of upskilling.
So, a one-stop shop that supports all of this was needed and I’m delighted to say that we have managed, with help from our funding partners and stakeholders, to pull this together and will be launching Forces Families Jobs on 17 September.
We are excited about the website and strongly believe it can make a huge difference to the military community! It’s been a lot of hard work but we are proud of it, and I hope that you will all find it useful. Read more on pages 14-15 of autumn’s Army&You.