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COMMUNITY


FOLLOWING THE FLAG does nothing for your CV


Frequent postings, deployments, childcare issues and the demands of Service life all combine to contribute to the ever-increasing struggle many spouses and partners face to find work. Heledd Kendrick explains how she can help.


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eledd Kendrick is the wife of a Serviceman and knows first-hand how difficult it can


be. Using her experience and expertise Heledd has taken the initiative to form her own company: Recruit For Spouses, an online resource aimed at connecting spouses with employers.


The company offers businesses the opportunity to employ workers at all skill levels, from shop floor to boardroom, for both local regional jobs to working from home. And it offers spouses and partners the opportunity to link up with employers.


Heledd’s site was launched in the autumn and is already linking potential employees with potential employers in a bid to bridge the gap.


Service spouses and partners are a vast untapped workforce, qualified and willing to work from home, and Recruit For Spouses is proving an effective way to access their talents. Recruit for Spouses puts these highly capable women and men in touch with employers willing to seize the initiative and tap into this skilled and diverse workforce while supporting the Armed Forces.


Spouses looking for work register with the site and add their skills to the online database just waiting to be accessed by potential employers.


Businesses are beginning to embrace the idea of the service offered by Recruit for Spouses, the barriers we encounter – the transient and unpredictable lifestyle we lead – this can be


easily bypassed using a virtual recruitment and working environment.


The employers connected to-date have been delighted with the quality and efficiency of the work carried out and we are now working with some large corporates. One spouse said, “It’s all about finding the right work for us which is both rewarding and flexible. We all deserve a level playing field when it comes to employment ”.


For more information please go to www. recruitforspouses.co.uk or email info@ recruitforspouses.co.uk Tel: 01666 837 786


Employment for Family Members What is the Federation Doing?


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eledd’s article is a timely reminder of the on-going challenges that the family members of serving personnel face in finding and retaining appropriate employment


or training opportunities. Some readers may recall that, in late 2009, the then Labour Government launched a Service Families Employment Task Force (SFETF), which reported in early 2010 – a copy of the report is on our website at www.raf-ff.org.uk.


Following the change in Administration in mid-2010, the three Families Federations asked that the recommendations arising from the SFETF be incorporated into the emerging Armed Forces Covenant work and this was duly done, with a range of commitments made to try and support non-serving family members seeking employment. However, progress has been slow and, at our recent Family Forum with the Minister for Defence Personnel Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan MP, the Army Families Federation suggested, with our support, that the Task Force be reinvigorated.


The Minister undertook to do so and we await developments. However, initiatives such as ‘Recruit for Spouses’ offer exactly the sort of support Service families need and we very much hope that others offering similar employment support will be able to contribute to this work, which underpins the Covenant’s commitment to removing disadvantage from the military community.


www.raf-ff.org.uk


The RAF FF has also been conducting dedicated surveys on partner’s employment, with live workshops focussing on the subject in 2010 and an on-line survey launched for 2011. We are in the process of analysing the results of the latest survey but top level results from last year (available in the 2010 Annual Report on our website) indicated the following:


• Only 44% of non-serving partners were in full-time employment, yet 21% were actively seeking work.


• More than 75% of partners had had to leave a job as a result of an assignment, with 16% then taking between 6-12 months to find new employment.


• 62% of partners had taken a pay cut or position of reduced status or responsibility.


• The main reasons for not applying for a job included childcare issues, concerns over gaps in CV, a lack of confidence and access issues such as poor public transport.


We will see if there are any noticeable changes in the results arising from our 2011 survey and anticipate that the worsening economic situation, poor external job market, public sector redundancies and soaring childcare costs are all conspiring to make it even more difficult for non-serving partners to find employment. Keep an eye on our website for the 2011 results and rest assured we will feed these into the relevant agencies to support the need for dedicated programmes to help Service family members find work. 


Envoy Winter 2011 43


Photo: Julie Skelton of Julie Anne Images


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