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Spousal Employment Tag

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

***** EXPIRED ***** 

All of the below events have been held. The NFF is pleased to be part of this tri-Service project and are grateful to receive enthusiastic interest at all of our regional launches. Thank you to those who have attended the event(s) and supported us. Galleries: click here.

 

Forces Families Jobs (FFJ), launched on 17th September, 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. This will be your gateway to accessing information about acquiring new skills, upgrading your existing skills or applying directly to employers who are understanding of the unique challenges that come with being a family member of a Serving Person.

 

We are excited to be hosting regional launches close to you, which we hope you will be able to come along to. Please join us to chat about how FFJ can benefit you, followed by an opportunity to network (regional launches only).

 

Regional launches

If you would like to attend one of the following events, please do RSVP via email: Project@nff.org.uk so that we know numbers for catering.

 

Devonport

Date: 23rd September 2019 (Monday)

Time: 1900 – 2100

Venue: China Fleet Club, PL12 6LJ

RSVP date: 18th September

 

Taunton

Date: 24th September 2019 (Tuesday)

Time: 1900 – 2100

Venue: The Castle Hotel, TA1 1NF

RSVP date: 18th September

 

Portsmouth

Date: 30th September 2019 (Monday)

Time: 1930 – 2130

Venue: Spinnaker Tower, PO1 3TT

RSVP date: 25th September

 

Helensburgh

Date: 7th October 2019 (Monday)

Time: 1900 – 2100

Venue: Scottish Submarine Centre, G84 8TR

RSVP date: 2nd October

 

Find us at other events

Lucy Heaver, our Employment Specialist and Policy Adviser, will be attending the following events in the next few weeks. Do come by to find out more about this upcoming online portal.

 

RMB Chivenor Health Fair

Date: 18th September 2019 (Wednesday)

Time: All day

 

RMA Resettlement Fair

Date: 3rd October 2019 (Thursday)

Time: 10:00 – 16:00

Venue: CTCRM Lympstone

Entry: Please register your interest here.

 

We look forward to meeting you!

 

X-Forces has set up a scheme to help Service Leavers, Reservists, and Spouses/ Partners to start their own business.

 

This scheme offers low interest start-up loans to individuals over 18 who have a viable business idea but no access to traditional finance.

 

Successful candidates will receive a 12-month free monitoring service, free training events and more.

 

Please see this page for more information and to apply for your Start Up Loan.

 

Posted on: 16th November, 2018

On 30th September 2018, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson announced a new package to help Armed Forces personnel and their family members throughout their careers and their transitions into civilian life.

 

He said:

‘’The bravery and dedication of our people is second to none. Whether they are in service, have served, or support the service of a loved one, we owe them a great debt of gratitude for their work in keeping this country safe. It is only right that we give our Armed Forces every opportunity to develop their skills to reach their potential, while ensuring that their spouses and civil partners are just as valued for the part they play.

The vast majority of those who have served in our Armed Forces go on to lead successful and rewarding lives, but it’s important we recognise that the transition is not always smooth. We are dedicated to upholding the support they receive while in uniform as they take this next step, and I’m delighted to be adding an extra helping hand to those most in need.‘’

 

The new package will include the following schemes:

  • Launching a new transition programme and ID cards for Service leavers. A new Defence Transition Service will deliver specialist support for Service personnel to adjust to civilian life, including help with housing and employment. New ID cards will be available to Service leavers shortly, and those who have already made the transition will be able to apply for an ID card in 2019. These cards will allow easy access to the range of support available from the public and charitable sectors, including registering with your local authority for priority healthcare and housing;

 

  • A new fund will be dedicated to support the careers of Service spouses and partners, following the success of the MOD’s Spouse Employment Support trial. This will facilitate access to vocational training and development opportunities to entering new sectors or self-employment;

 

  • By the end of 2020, all serving personnel will have access to their own Professional and Personal Development Plan, a scheme that will enable them to hone the skills they need to succeed throughout their service, and to equip them for the next stage of their careers. It can also help create a support network for those living with significant illness, caring for others.

 

We will share further details as they become available. The Naval Families Federation welcomes your feedback on these and other issues. Please do contact us via our website with any comments you make have.

 

Posted on: 1st October, 2018

There are many organisations that offer free employment and financial support, from CV and interview skills to starting your very own business. There are also organisations that advertise positions specifically aimed at Service spouses and partners.

 

Employment Support
Career Transition Partnership (CTP)

CTP is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd that provides resettlement services for those leaving the Armed Services.

 

Forces Families Jobs (FFJ)

FFJ is a Tri-Service platform to enable family members of serving personnel to have a ‘one stop shop’ where they can apply for jobs directly with employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as well as find signposting to other career and training opportunities. Listen to this podcast to find out more about the platform. Click here to read about the success stories.

 

Recruit for Spouses (RfS)

RfS is the leading organisation helping Armed Forces spouses all over the UK into employment. To hear more about how they can help you if you are an employer or a spouse please take a look at their promotional video here or visit their website.

 

RFEA The Forces Employment Charity

RFEA has launched a programme to help the spouses and partners of serving and ex-Forces personnel into employment with the support of a dedicated Families Employment Advisor. The help includes career diagnostics, individual employment case-working support, access to vocational training funding and job-brokerage to suitable and sustainable jobs through their extensive database of employers.

 

SORTED!

SORTED! comprises of seven well established charities, which provide a wide range of employment related services and support for the Forces community (including spouses/partners and family members) to find and stay in work.

 

X-Forces

X-Forces is an award-winning Community Interest Company that nurtures entrepreneurial ambition in the UK military community, by supporting start-up and scale-up businesses.

 

Unsung Hero Dependants’ Business Start-Up Programme

Funded by HSBC and delivered by the University of Wolverhampton, this programme has been developed specifically for Armed Forces families to provide them with the transferable skills and support required to start and maintain a business that will not be restricted to a geographical area, allowing families to become more financially stable and break the cycle of being unable to work.

 

Training Opportunities
Amazon Web Services – Restart

Covenant signatory Amazon Web Services (AWS) have pledged support for the military community with the launch of their free four-week AWS re:Start programme, which aims to provide training and potential employment opportunities in computing technology.

 

Apprenticeships

The Government has put together an information hub for members of the public to access information on becoming an apprentice.

 

Essential Training

Essential Teaching UK is a recognised education and training organisation delivering high quality training throughout the UK. They offer Service spouses and partners payment for courses in installments with 0% interest.

 

Lifeworks

Lifeworks Families is a Royal British Legions Industries programme, delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Defence, providing fantastic free employment courses.

 

National Careers Service

This website provides careers advice and information on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding.

 

Social Media Spouses

Funded by the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, BFBS has launched a free online social media training programme for Service spouses and partners. Social Media Spouses is a 12-week course that is designed by social media experts, to offer spouses/partners the opportunity to build up professional skills.

 

Funding
President’s Award Scheme

Women’s Section President’s Award Scheme provides educational sponsorship by way of educational grants and scholarships to spouses of non-commissioned officers, both serving and ex-serving Armed Forces personnel. Assistance is awarded to those seeking first degrees, and grants are awarded towards re-training programmes, books, travel costs and other related costs.

 

X-Forces Business Start-up Loan

X-Forces (see ‘Employment Support’) has set up a business start-up loan scheme to help the Armed Forces community to start their own business.

 

Posted on: 3rd May, 2018
Updated on: 10th June, 2020

Armed Forces spouses can now add development coaching to the list of opportunities available from Recruit for Spouses (RfS), alongside help with CV’s, job matching and preparing for an interview.

With more employers turning to RfS to fill their vacancies, they have partnered with BAE Systems Plc to provide a comprehensive coaching programme for registered spouses.

What is coaching?

Coaching is an effective development tool that is designed to uncover what motivates individuals, identify what barriers exist and help them set goals for the future. Military spouses can sometimes feel a loss of identity: you may be working in a job that is convenient but unfulfilling, or you may feel unable to get back into the workplace after a break. Coaching can help to overcome any obstacles that have been holding you back.

Could it work for you?

The BAE sessions are carried out over the phone or via Skype, at a time that suits you, in a confidential environment where you can share your thoughts without judgement. The coaches understand the value that military spouses bring to the workplace and of the 13 spouses who have entered the programme since May 2017, four have already found the confidence to apply for jobs and been successful, even before coaching has finished.

Here’s what some of them have to say:

“Coaching has been instrumental in building my confidence. My coach not only spent hours on the phone providing guidance and direction, she reviewed my CV, presentations and job offers too. She also provided examples for covering letters, HR tools and techniques to build my skill set.

“My coach created an environment in which I felt able to explore and discuss. My motivation for going on the coaching course was to help me re-enter the work place after a 2½ year career break: my coach made me think about things I may not have considered, stopped me procrastinating and helped to build the confidence I needed. I have since undertaken two interviews and had one job offer.”

In The Pipeline:

RfS will soon be developing a new coaching programme with another organisation. If you think coaching could be the missing link in helping you return to work or achieving the career you always wanted, why not join the next cohort? Getting in touch is easy, just email enquiries@recruitforspouses.co.uk

Posted on: 14th February, 2018

The University of Wolverhampton’s business start-up programme, ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero has been awarded further sponsorship by HSBC Bank – extending the venture until 2021.

 

‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ is specifically tailored to meet the needs of Armed Forces families, offering them the opportunities and advice in relation to business management and self-employment.

 

The programme started in October 2013 following a successful bid to the Armed Forces Covenant LIBOR Fund for a Dependants’ Business Start-Up programme. Since then, the course and mentoring programme has been in high demand from Service families of Serving personnel, veterans and reservists, having already been attended by 520 delegates with an expected 740 expected to complete the programme by 2021.

 

Sarah Walker, ‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ Project Manager and Lead Trainer, said:

“We are proud to be leading this programme and are very grateful to HSBC for continuing to fund the venture which forms an integral part of our range of opportunities for those who are currently serving in the Armed Forces their families and wider military community.

This programme has the potential to create in excess of 700 hundred new business start-ups by the end of 2021, significantly boosting our economies on a local and national scale with the course being delivered overseas in military locations such as Cyprus, Gibraltar and Germany.”

 

Sally Wagstaff, a former Nurse in the Royal Navy and military spouse to her husband who serves as a Royal Navy Nursing Officer, enrolled on the first programme in October 2013. Since completing the course she has opened a state-of-the-art laser hair removal clinic in Lichfield and has since built on her success, opening a further salon at Aston Wood Golf and Country Club.

 

She said:

“I simply wouldn’t have started my business without the Supporting the Unsung Hero Business programme. The course has been so important, from giving me the confidence to launch to teaching me the skills to run and importantly grow my business. I recommend the programme highly.”

 

‘Supporting the Unsung Hero’ is delivered through the University of Wolverhampton’s Business Solutions Centre in conjunction with the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and The Ministry of Defence Hive Information Service.

 

Delegates are offered a dedicated four-day business start-up training programme followed by individual mentoring. They also benefit from a closed online forum to encourage peer support and interaction. Further training, seminars and networking opportunities are available via the University’s Business Solutions Centre, Black Country Chamber of Commerce and Forces Enterprise Network.

 

For more information please contact Sarah Walker at the University of Wolverhampton’s Business Solutions Centre on 01902 321272 or email: suh@wlv.ac.uk

 

Posted on: 17th August, 2017

Smart Works is a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to any woman with a confirmed interview. They give women the confidence, the self-belief and the practical tools they require to succeed at interview and start a new chapter of their life.

At the core of their service is a dressing and interview appointment at one of their Smart Works centres.  During her visit, each woman receives a high-quality interview outfit (theirs to keep) tailored to their taste and style by Smart Works’ stylists. This is followed by dedicated one-to-one interview training with an experienced recruitment, HR or coaching professional.

The Smart Works service is currently run in six locations across the UK: North London, West London, Edinburgh, Greater Manchester, Reading and Birmingham, with more on the way.

Case studies

Tina Singh

Tina came to visit Smart Works for the first time in September 2015 and was successful in securing a role as a catering assistant in early October.

I had no smart clothes to wear for interviews and my confidence was at an all time low when I was referred to Smart Works in September.

The dressers at Smart Works made me look super sharp for my interview.  They were so kind and friendly; they knew how to dress me and gave me lots of styling advice.  They really were experts.

The interview techniques and tips I learnt during the interview coaching was also so very useful, and really helped me prepare for my interview properly.

Everyone at Smart Works made me feel worthy.  They really built up my confidence and I would recommend the service to anyone.”

Letitia Adu-Sarkodie

Letitia visited Smart Works in April 2015 having applied for over 30 jobs unsuccessfully in the previous 6 months.  Shortly after coming to Smart Works Letitia secured a job at Google in their HR department.

 “Being unemployed for a long time and being unsuccessful in so many applications had really impacted negatively on my sense of self worth and confidence.  I didn’t really believe in myself at interview which I am sure showed, and I know I wasn’t instilling confidence in the people interviewing me.

 Coming to Smart Works gave me a real confidence boost, it was a fantastic experience.

 The Interview session was priceless as it gave me so many good tips on how to answer tricky interview questions.  I really appreciated being able to go through my CV and I learnt how to speak about my skills and experience positively.

 I definitely left with a smile, and to top it all off I survived a very hard three hour interview and got the job!”

Appointments at Smart Works are by referral only. Each local Smart Works works with a large range of referral partners who support women back into work. If you are unsure you can find contact numbers here and they will be able to advice you.

 

For further information, please click here.

 

Posted on: 30th January, 2017

Research shows that Royal Navy and Royal Marines spouses/partners represent an untapped pool of skilled labour. However, a study by Barclays also shows that almost 40% of Service spouses and partners believe that having their other half in the Armed Services has prevented them from being offered a job interview. We have put together some facts, figures and real life examples of how employing a Service spouse or partner can benefit your organisation, please click here. 

 

Sharing good practice

Military Network – many organisations have set up a network for those staff members that have a connections to the Military community. This provides support within the workplace and also gives the organisation the opportunity to raise new ideas and suggest possible future projects that are specific to the Military community.

 

Internal Moves Policyreferencing a Military spouse/partner within the policy reassures your staff member that you are supportive of internal moves due to their serving partner’s Military assignments.

 

Cultureeach member of staff has different family needs at different times. The greatest support will come from creating a culture where everyone is treated as an individual and these needs can be discussed open and honestly with a view to finding a solution that works for both the individual and the organisation.

 

Employment Workshops  the Naval Families Federation has been approached by a number of organisations wishing to facilitate employment workshops for Service spouses. Barclays Bank, for example, have run a ‘skills’ workshop for Royal Navy and Royal Marines partners and spouses in the summer of 2018. A pilot workshop was held in Portsmouth and it is now rolling out across the country.

 

Recruitment – if you have a position which you think would be suitable for a Service spouse or partner and you would like us to assist with advertising the role, please email info@nff.org.uk with the details and we will be able to share this on our LinkedIn page here; Forces Families Job (ForcesFamiliesJobs.co.uk) is a Tri-Service platform to enable family members of serving personnel to have a ‘one stop shop’ where they can apply for jobs directly with employers who have signed the Armed Forces Covenant as well as find signposting to other career and training opportunities. Please visit this page for more information. Listen to this podcast and find out more about how this platform can benefit employers.

 

Find out more

If you’re interested in finding out how you can offer employment support to Service spouses, or if you would like to know about Forces Families Jobs, please contact us at contactus@nff.org.uk.

 

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a pledge to acknowledge and understand those who serve/ have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, that they should be treated with fairness and respect. The Armed Forces Covenant can be signed by businesses of all sizes, charitable organisations, local authorities, public sector organisations and single services. Employers can choose specific promises or pledges to support their employees within the Armed Forces community. For example, employers can pledge to promote the fact that they are an Armed Forces-friendly organisation.

 

A report launched by The Forces in Mind Trust, titled ‘Benefit not Burden’, calls for increased awareness around the benefits to businesses, public and voluntary sector organisations in the UK in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant.

 

Defence Relationship Management has also produced a video to explain why this partnership is good for businesses and the Armed Forces community.

 

Defence – Employers Recognition Scheme

The scheme encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards for employer organisations that pledge, demonstrate or advocate support to defence and the Armed Forces community, and align their values with the Armed Forces Covenant. 

 

Posted on: 12th May, 2016
Last updated on: 24th February, 2020