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RN/RM Announcements

A brand new ‘one-stop-shop’ website, Forces Families Jobs (FFJ) goes live on 17th September, providing free access to employment or training opportunities to families in the UK’s Armed Forces.

 

 

Finding employment

Apply for jobs with companies and organisations who are ‘Forces family’ friendly – who understand the unique challenges that come with being a family member in the Armed Forces. Use this free-to-use website with confidence knowing that employers advertising their job vacancies have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces. There are already thousands of vacancies on the site, with more being added all the time from companies such as Santander, Amazon UK and Royal Mail.

 

Families can search directly for live jobs online, as well as upload their CV and register for regular updates. There is also the option for employers to be able to match submitted CVs to the roles they are recruiting for, both in the UK and overseas.

 

Training and career support

FFJ is also the place to go for training on how to write a CV, preparing for an interview, business start-up programmes, volunteering roles, funding towards training, career events or insight days. All offered by well-known service charities and or organisations willing to support through training.

 

Who is eligible to use the site?
  • Spouses, partners and adult children, aged 18-25, of currently serving and reserve personnel
  • Spouses, partners, and adult children, aged 18-25, of service personnel who have left the armed forces within the last 12 months
  • Bereaved spouses, partners and adult children, aged 18-25, for up to two years, post service.

 

The need for FFJ

Recent tri-Service research, commissioned by the Army Families Federation and conducted by Warwick Institute for Employment Research resulted in a key recommendation to create a central portal for employment and training opportunities for military spouses and family members.

 

Military spouse, Jane O’Brien said:

“I thought I knew what to expect as a military wife working… I was wrong! It can be a bumpy ride and one that is very unique and underestimated. In 2018 my husband was deployed. It’s the first time I have felt alone and this had an impact on both me and my five year old son.

“However, I was fortunate in that my line manager, a Covenant signatory, was incredibly supportive and this was a huge relief.”

 

Johnny Mercer MP, Minister for Defence People and Veterans said:

“We know that being a military family member often means moving regularly, creating gaps in CVs and frequent job changes.

“This website will provide a one-stop-shop and a forces-friendly facility that will help support service families in accessing job and training opportunities.”

 

Employers looking to join FFJ

Employers who have signed the Covenant are able to use FFJ to promote their job vacancies as a free of charge service – simply contact the FFJ team and they will advise you on next steps to take. Those with training offers are also welcome to contact the FFJ team or their single Service Families Federations.

 

Launch events and further information

The three Families Federations have held events across the UK to celebrate the launch of this new portal. The NFF hosted Armed Forces families, the Chain of Command, Government representatives and businesses in Plymouth, Taunton, Portsmouth and Helensburgh. Please scroll down to browse the galleries.

 

A tri-service project

This website has been produced through collaborative working between the Naval, Army and RAF Families Federations in conjunction with the Ministry of Defence Relationship Management Team.

 

Thanks to our partners who have provided funding and support to enable FFJ to happen:

 

  • Annington Trust
  • Army Benevolent Fund (ABF)
  • Army Central Fund
  • Broadbean
  • Defence Relationship Management (DRM)
  • Manpower Group
  • Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA)
  • Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC)
  • University of Wolverhampton

 

Further Information

Please visit this page to find out how FFJ can benefit you. 

 

Gallery – FFJ National Launch (House of Lords, 17th September 2019)

Click on image to expand. (©Naval Families Federation, 2019)

Gallery – FFJ launch (China Fleet Club, 23rd September 2019)

Click on image to expand. (©Naval Families Federation, 2019)

Gallery – FFJ launch (Thye Castle Hotel Taunton, 24th September 2019)

Click on image to expand. (©Naval Families Federation, 2019)

Gallery – FFJ launch (Spinnaker Tower, 30th September 2019)

Click on image to expand. (©Naval Families Federation, 2019)

Gallery – FFJ launch (Scottish Submarine Centre, 7th October 2019)

Click on image to expand. (©David Wynne, 2019)

Posted on: 17th September, 2019
Updated on: 9th October, 2019

The Naval Families Federation exists to give all currently serving Royal Navy/ Royal Marines personnel and their families the opportunity to have their views heard by those in positions of power. We can only represent your opinions and experiences by listening to your feedback. This is why we often attend families’ and open days to meet you and to find out how you are doing. These events are great opportunities for us to understand your ‘lived experience’, and for you to present your views and concerns for us to pass on to, and to challenge, key policy-makers.

 

The following list indicates the upcoming events we will be attending. This list is regularly updated:

Royal Marines Association – Resettlement Fair

Date: 3rd October 2019 (Thu)

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Location: CTCRM Lympstone

What’s on: One-to-one slot with chosen exhibitors

Entry: Please register your interest here.

Forces Families Jobs

Forces Families Jobs (FFJ – ForcesFamiliesJobs.co.uk) is a ‘one-stop shop’ where Service spouses/partners and family members can apply for jobs directly with employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as well as find signposting to career and training opportunities. If you would like to join us at one of the FFJ regional launches, please refer to this link here.

Posted on: 21st June, 2018
Last updated on: 20th September, 2019

 

*EDIT: The report, which has been seen by the Prime Minister, is now available. *

 

To collect evidence for ‘Stick or Twist’, an independent report on retention, Mark Francois MP and his research team visited multiple Naval Service agencies in Portsmouth on Thursday 23rd May. They joined the Naval Families Federation (NFF) and over a dozen dual-serving couples, Service spouses and partners to listen to their ‘lived experience’.

 

With the Armed Forces keen to retain the best talent, this research will provide insights to understand how to create an environment that ensures better retention of Service people, an objective that has been set out by 10 Downing Street.

 

One of the pressing issues highlighted related to childcare and education; there were questions about the use of Service Pupil Premium and concerns were raised about the cost of childcare and its relation to spousal employment.

 

Another theme focused on the implementation of Flexible Service. Some of the families told the team that whilst they appreciate that policy is now in place, it is unrealistic for certain branches within the Naval Service to apply, as operational needs take priority.

 

Finally, pressure on family life was discussed with some spouses describing that the ‘weekending’ lifestyle coupled with the uncertainty of Service commitments has impacted on family functioning and their mental health.

 

Anna Wright, CEO of the Naval Families Federation, said:

‘‘Following the very constructive visit of Andrew Selous MP last month, we wanted to give our families the opportunity to talk directly to Mr Francois and his team about their experiences. We are delighted that this meeting has opened up the conversation between Naval Service families and the government.

 

‘Of the three Services, the Naval Service has the most separation in terms of military deployments as well as non-operational separation. Recent research confirms what families have told us – that the Naval ‘weekending’ lifestyle could affect family-functioning and Service partners’ mental health and career progression. We look forward to seeing these and other issues related to retention addressed in the forthcoming ‘Stick or Twist’ report.”

 

‘Stick or Twist’ is now calling for evidence from serving people and their families and from those who have recently left the Armed Forces, as well as from providers of services to Armed Forces families in the statutory, voluntary and charity sectors. Submissions should be made by 00:00 on 31st May 19. Please visit this page for further information.

 

Posted on: 23rd May, 2019
Updated on: 22nd July, 2020

 

Having assigned to work at Hasler Company, a dedicated centre to professionally help with rehabilitation for serving personnel, as well as losing friends to suicide, Captain Ryan Morris set up Project Regain to promote early detection and help for Royal Marines who could suffer from mental health issues.

 

Royal Marines have the lowest rates of mental health problems within the UK Armed Services, but Regain aims to improve mental health awareness and reduce stigma. Evidence collected by the project suggested that commandos find it hard to ask for support when symptoms of illness like PTSD and depression first appear. Findings also show that lack of knowledge about mental health issues make it a hurdle to recognising a developing condition. This initiative will help Marines access treatments at the start of an issue, which can reduce the treatment timelines.

 

 

Overview of Regain
  • It gives individuals access to basic education about mental health symptoms and the ways in which to seek help.
  • It allows serving Royal Marines to refer themselves directly to specialists without the need to first go through their unit’s medical officer – all they need to do is pick up a phone and call the Department of Community Mental Health at Colchester (Tel: 01206 817 057/ Mil: 94660 7057) and from there they will be put straight through to a nurse who will arrange an appointment locally.
  • Most Royal Marines who seek help have eight to 12 sessions of talking therapy and then carry on their careers. All the treatment provided is confidential.

 

Further Information

Please visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk/Regain for more information, or read a short summary of this initiative in Homeport magazine (Summer ’19, p.32).

 

 

Posted on: 13th May, 2019
Updated on: 18th June, 2019

 

** EDIT: The report, which has been seen by the Prime Minister, is now available.  **

 

The Prime Minister has recommissioned The Rt. Hon. Mark Francois MP and his research team, to produce an independent report on improving Retention within the Armed Forces.

 

Following on from his successful 2017 report on Armed Forces Recruitment, Filling the Ranks, the Prime Minister has recommissioned Mark Francois MP and his research team, to produce an independent report on improving Retention within HM Armed Forces.

 

The report team would like to hear from serving personnel and their families and from those who have recently left the Armed Services, as well as from providers of services to Armed Forces families in the statutory, voluntary and charity sectors.

 

The team’s objective as set out by No. 10, is: “To understand how to create an environment that ensures the best retention of Service personnel for as long as Defence need them.” The team are required to provide initial findings to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence by the end of July 2019 – with the full report to be submitted by the end of the calendar year.

 

The report team are keen to receive evidence on those factors which materially affect retention in the Armed Services. These include, (but are not strictly limited to):
  • The pressure of service life on personnel and their families
  • Frequency of deployment/nights out of bed
  • Remuneration and the “pull factor” of alternative employment opportunities outside of the Armed Forces
  • Career progression – for both service personnel and their spouses/partners
  • Accommodation and home ownership
  • Quality of medical services available to Armed Forces personnel and their families
  • Educational issues, including the provision of special needs education to children

 

The report team is keen to hear both what is working well and what is not working well and should be improved. Unlike, Filling the Ranks, the conclusions of the report will not necessarily be revenue neutral, but any recommendations must be financially realistic. Submissions/comments should be sent to mark.francois.mp@parliament.uk by the deadline of 00:00 on the 31st May 2019. Please include ‘Stick or Twist Report’ in the subject line of the email.

 

The review will seek the first-hand experiences of currently serving, ex-Service personnel and their families, with a series of planned visits to units. All respondents and their respective data will remain anonymous and no one will be personally identified in any report.

 

Commenting on the commissioning of the report Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee said,

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister has asked the Rt Hon Mark Francois MP to produce an independent report to Government to see what more can be done to understand the factors underlying Armed Forces Retention and produce recommendations on how Defence and other areas of government can set the conditions to optimise retention. This study has the full support of the Secretary of State for Defence, the Services and myself.”

 

Posted on: 8th May, 2019
Updated on: 22nd July, 2020

 

Ministers have urged all UK universities to boost support for Armed Forces communities.

 

In a joint letter dated 18th April 2019, Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, and Chris Skidmore, Universities Minister called on institutions to sign up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Currently 57 out of 136 UK universities have signed up to the Covenant, including 3 of the 24 Russell Group universities. The Russell Group represents those universities with a shared focus on research and a reputation for academic achievement. According to research conducted by the University of Winchester, the participation for young people from Armed Forces families in higher education is 24%, compared to a rate of approximately 43% for the overall population.

 

This call came in light of the recent announcement from Department for Education which confirmed a £5 million funding to pay the tuition fees for eligible serving personnel and Service Leavers.

 

Universities can support the Armed Forces Covenant in a number of ways including ensuring admissions policies reflect the needs of the Armed Forces community, benchmarking Service experience and qualifications against course entry requirements or having a presence at local careers fairs for those leaving the Services. Universities which have already signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant are leading the way with support for military personnel and their families, pledging to support those who wish to serve in the armed forces as Reservists, and offering flexible leave before or after deployment to personnel and their partners.

 

The Ministers have also called on universities to establish Armed Forces champions within each institution, which would be empowered to uphold the commitments of the Covenant, and to act as a first point of contact for the Armed Forces community, Service charities, and local businesses.

 

Some universities have also included Service children as a target group in their Access and Participation Plans, which all English universities will be drawing up this year for implementation in 2020/21. This is an initiative which the NFF has been actively involved in.

 

We welcome your views. Please do contact us if you have any concerns or would like to share your lived experience.

 

Further Information

 

Posted on: 24th April, 2019

 

Andrew Selous MP has been asked by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson to produce an independent report to capture the needs of Service families. Key issues identified can help influence existing and future policies to help improve support available to families.

 

Mr Selous and his report team are keen to hear from spouses and partners as well as children and dependents of those who are currently serving or have recently left the Service.

 

During a visit to Royal Navy and Royal Marines agencies in Portsmouth today, Mr Selous and Prof Walker, lead adviser of the report team, joined us at our offices in HMS Excellent to meet with Naval Service family members.

 

During the meeting, they chatted to spouses and partners about their lived experience, gathering evidence in different areas of concern to help understand the issues families face.

 

One of the issues raised during this meeting was housing. Some of the families at the meeting live in Service Family Accommodation, and they told Mr Selous about living conditions, as well as suggestions on how things could be improved.

 

Another issue discussed included childcare and education; there were questions about the use of Service Pupil Premium and concerns were raised about the cost of childcare and its relation to spousal employment.

 

Finally, there was a discussion on health care and the Armed Forces Covenant. It was pointed out that accessing health services could be a challenge for those moving to a different assignment, and how the Covenant could help educate local GPs and dental clinics on this issue.

 

Anna Wright, CEO of the Naval Families Federation, said:

‘We are delighted to facilitate this open conversation and to act as a bridge to connect our Royal Navy and Royal Marines families and the government. This meeting has enabled family members to voice their concerns and give feedback about their experiences. We look forward to reading the final report.’

 

The report will be published this summer, and might provide the impetus for a further review on wider government and public-sector provision.

 

If you have missed the opportunity to submit evidence, please do contact us, as we would like to hear from you. The NFF exists to give all serving Royal Navy and Royal Marines personnel and their families the opportunity to have their views heard by those in positions of power, and we can challenge policy on your behalf.

 

Posted on: 4th April, 2019

Did you know that Welcome Guides have been produced to help Service families as they move across the UK or return from overseas?

 

These booklets were designed to provide information you may need to help you and your family settle in to a new location. They cover aspects such as housing, education, healthcare, employment, benefits and social care and other useful information, as well as a list of supporting organisations.

 

If you are considering moving, or are due to move for an upcoming assignment order, please do read the guides, which can help to ease your mind.

Welcome to England poster.
Welcome to Wales poster.
Welcome to Scotland poster.
Northern Ireland
Currently in production. Please watch this space.

These guides can also be accessed via the Armed Forces Covenant here.

Posted on: 2nd April, 2019
Updated on: 29th June, 2020

FAM Pilot

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) committed the Ministry of Defence to make a new accommodation offer, to help more personnel live in private accommodation and meet their aspirations for home ownership.

 

The way people live and work is changing and the Future Accommodation Model (FAM) reflects this, giving more choice to more Service personnel and their families over where, how and with whom you live.

 

Now that the pilot is live across all Services, FAM leads will test the policy and work closely with Service personnel to see how they respond. The pilot will run for around three years, and everyone’s feedback over that time will be hugely important. A decision will then be made about whether to expand FAM and roll it out to the rest of the UK over the following decade.

 

On 1st April 2019, more information on the model was released. The MOD has produced the following videos to give you an overview of FAM:

 

 

 

FAM is now live at HMNB Clyde, Aldershot Garrison and RAF Wittering.

Under FAM, entitlement to Service Family Accommodation (SFA) will no longer be allocated according to the rank of individuals, but will instead focus on the size of the family, promoting fairness and ensuring homes are fit for purpose. For those living on, or assigned to, HMNB Clyde it is important to know that Single Living Accommodation (SLA) and SFA will still be available, with no SFA properties sold off because of the pilot.

 

If you are happy in your current SLA or SFA at one of the pilot locations don’t worry, you don’t need to take any action. However, if you’d now like to consider renting or buying a home in the local area with support from the MOD, FAM makes this possible:

Eligibility
  • Regular or Full Time Reserve Service (Full Commitment)
  • Based at one of the pilot locations with 12 months or more left on your draft, or have an assignment there of 12 months or more during the pilot
  • Have 4 or more years of Service
Applications

If you decide you want to change your current accommodation and you want to rent then you will need to complete an Accommodation Preference Form (APF) in JPA. If you want to buy a house then you do not fill out the APF, instead you’ll need to take your legal paperwork to your Unit Personnel Office (UPO). If you choose to stay in your current SLA or SFA then you don’t need to do anything.

 

If you are due to be assigned to HMNB Clyde, you can choose your accommodation in line with the FAM policies. You can submit your APF in advance of your start date.

Note: Long Term Relationships (LTR)

It was also announced that Service personnel who are in a long-term relationship or have residential responsibility for a child will now be able to apply to live together in surplus SFA at all UK bases where properties are available, provided that you met the criteria. Please note that this is not part of FAM, but rather a new policy. This is not an entitlement to SFA. Find out more about your eligibility here.

Enquiries/ Further details
HMNB Clyde FAM Cell
Housing Options Scotland

Housing Options Scotland’s (HOS) “Military Matters” programme supports members of the Armed Forces community with any housing needs or issues. The charity offers free, independent information, advice and support to those who get in touch, and they can help with all kinds of housing tenure – from renting privately to social housing and home ownership.

 

Karen Campbell is the Military Matters broker at HOS and works with clients from the Armed Forces community. Support is offered on a 1-1 basis, where every client receives information and advice tailored to their specific circumstances.

 

Discover My Benefits

Find out what you could receive in payments and allowances, if you rent or buy a home under FAM via Discover My Benefits.

Information on gov.uk
Attachments

The MOD and the NFF’s Homeport magazine have also produced videos, articles and leaflets that can help you understand this update better:

Step-by-step guide:

 

Here’s what the first people to benefit from new choices in accommodation in HMNB Clyde have to say about FAM:

FAM informational poster.
FAM informational poster.
FAM guide front page.
Guide for existing renters at HMNB Clyde
FAM informational poster.
All you need to know about FAM (Homeport Summer '19, p.37-40)

The Naval Families Federation welcomes your thoughts on this pilot. Please do contact us.

 

Posted on: 1st April, 2019
Updated on: 15th October, 2020

 

FAMCAS 2019 is now closed – view the results here.

 

You may have been asked by your serving partner to complete the Families Continuous Attitude Survey (FAMCAS). The survey asks questions about key welfare areas including family life, childcare, deployment, education, employment, healthcare, and housing. It provides spouses/civil partners with an opportunity to share their views on what life is like being with a member of the Armed Forces. In the previous years, the survey was sent to a random selection of Service families located both within the UK and overseas. However, FAMCAS is now open to all Service spouses/partners.

 

We would really encourage you to take part in the survey as the results from the survey are used to aid the development and monitoring of military personnel policies and welfare initiatives. They are also used to inform and monitor Defence personnel programmes (such as the Armed Forces People Programme) and aim to address all types of challenges faced by the families of service personnel. All replies will be treated in the strictest confidence and are completely anonymous. Your individual responses will only be seen by the civilian researchers conducting this survey and external data input contractors.

 

You may be thinking, “What about me? I am not the legal spouse of the serving person, but their service has a big impact on me/my children, and I should be invited to comment.” We agree. We are meeting with the researchers working for FAMCAS to encourage the development of a more inclusive and useful survey that more accurately reflects modern family life. We also know that dual serving couples find it difficult to complete the FAMCAS. We will update you with any progress made in this area. In the meantime, please do have a go at completing the survey. Feel free to get in touch with us with any additional feedback you may wish us to pass on.

 

Posted on: 10th April, 2018
Updated on: 29th July, 2019