The Army Families Federation is delighted that Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI) is using this grant to extend the provision of its successful LifeWorks employability courses to Armed Forces spouses and partners at a national level. The £250,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant LIBOR Fund will help military families find and secure sustainable employment.

Spouses often face a number of employment barriers including frequent moves and overseas postings. AFF believes that these courses are a key initiative in removing these barriers and will give spouses far wider access to the employment market.

The LIBOR Fund was established to support the principles of the Armed Forces Covenant which states that military personnel and their families should not face disadvantage in the community as a result of their service to their country.

Kent-based RBLI, which has been providing training, jobs, housing and welfare to the Armed Forces community for nearly a century, will use the grant to extend provision of its successful LifeWorks courses to military spouses and partners.

The LifeWorks courses were originally designed to provide free career advice and employability coaching to people leaving the Armed Forces. The training was felt to be especially important because individuals often join the military directly from education, therefore gaining very little civilian job searching, interview and work experience. However, RBLI has also noticed a need among military families whose employment prospects can be disadvantaged because they are uprooted when their partners are relocated or deployed, resulting in sporadic job histories or simply putting their careers on hold.

The charity received the £250,000 grant following two pilot training courses for military families in Kent. One was run in conjunction with SureStart and Brompton Barracks in Chatham and the other at Shorncliffe Barracks in Folkestone. Both pilots were successful, with spouses and partners saying they felt more confident about their job searching skills and had higher self-esteem as a result of the course.

Steve Sherry CMG OBE, RBLI’s Chief Executive, is delighted that the charity will be able to help even more families, “As a result of the grant we will now be able to deliver the courses nationwide, hopefully reaching over 500 military families in the next two years. With some Service personnel having to leave the Forces because of redundancy or as a result of injury, it’s even more important that their partners have the skills and confidence to find and gain employment.”

As childcare is the biggest issue for spouses and partners wanting to attend LifeWorks courses, RBLI will also be piloting a variety of training formats. As well as training at barracks around the country, these formats may include peer-to-peer training, distance learning programmes, webinars and residential courses at RBLI’s head office in Aylesford, Kent.

For more information about RBLI, visit www.RBLI.co.uk or call 0843 308 1383 or contact AFF’s Employment, Training, Allowances and Money Specialist, Caroline Mayne at etam@aff.org.uk or 07799045955. View a LifeWorks poster by following this link.

 

Picture and video courtesy RBLI

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