AFF working to increase spousal access to training
Service families benefit from Chartered Management Institute membership
Information on access and funding for adult education and training
Access to Success Route
AFF is concerned that spouses can face barriers when pursuing further education (FE) and training. These barriers include frequent postings, living in remote locations, overseas postings, poor access to childcare, and lack of funding (especially where there is no second income in the family). Read more
We are working to increase spouse access to FE and training because we recognise this will open up more employment opportunities. A second income is crucial at a time when the Army is encouraging home ownership.
We are currently working with the MOD, the Armed Forces Covenant Team, Defence Relationship Management and Service charities to look at opportunitites for training for spouses. We have already successfully lobbied for retention of SFA if spouses are in the middle of further/higher education courses, where they had a reasonable expectation of completing the course before their soldier was posted.
The Armed Forces Covenant has recognised that access to training is very important for spouses. This has resulted in initiatives such as the RBLI’s employability courses becoming nationally available for spouses and also the University of Wolverhampton offering dedicated businessstart-up courses for spouses and dependants. AFF is aware that more opportunities are being developed and we will update families as soon as they become available.
AFF is pleased with news the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) has signed the Armed Forces Covenant and pledged to support Service spouses and partners in gaining leadership qualifications to help them further their career. Read more
AFF has worked for a long time to highlight the challenges Army spouses and partners can face when finding and maintaining employment – a key issue that features firmly in the Covenant.
Supporting career development
Ann Francke, Chief Executive of the Chartered Management Institute said: “We’re proud to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and help families of the heroic men and women who serve our country get the support they need to develop their careers.”
CMI has pledged support for Service spouses and partners through their MOD Family Membership Scheme, which provides access to discounted leadership, mentoring and coaching qualifications – the scheme is offered FREE to Service children aged 16-18 years. They are also committed to supporting the military spouses and Reservists they employ with flexible working where possible.
Valuing Service families
Participating in the Covenant signing, Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee said: “The families of our Service personnel are an important part of the Covenant. We value and are grateful to them – the unsung heroes who support our Armed Forces. Knowing that the nation and organisations like the Chartered Management Institute recognises this is extremely important and fundamental in making the Armed Forces Covenant work.”
Find out more
For some useful FAQs about the scheme click here.
Find out more about the Armed Forces Covenant by visiting www.armedforcescovenant.gov.uk
The Government and some Service and ex-Service organisations also offer financial assistance to serving and ex-Services personnel and members of their families to support a course of study or training. This may include assistance with the added costs and expenses associated with studying. Read more
Good places to start are:
EmploymentSupport Grant Scheme
- Employment Support Grant Scheme is a Legion welfare scheme funded by the
annual poppy appeal. It is specifically designed to help low skilled and
unemployed Legion beneficiaries with assistance to achieve a sustainable
- President'sAward 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.
- The National Careers Service website provides careers advice and information
on a wide range of jobs, training course resources and funding.
- Information on apprenticeships – some over-25 places available
- www.gov.uk/grant-bursary-adult-learners - Adult learners can apply for grants and bursaries to help pay for courses and training. You usually don’t have to pay this money back e.g. NHS bursaries for nurse training.
- Opportunities for OU funding
- The Forces Children Education Trust (formerly The Royal School Hampstead Trust) exists to assist in funding the education of dependents of servicemen and women, both currently serving and retired. Grants are available to those up to the age of 25.
- You may find that your situation meets the criteria for grants and scholarships from one of the institutions on this website: www.scholarship-search.org.uk
- Turn2us - www.turn2us.org.uk
Are you interested in university study but not sure whether you have the study skills or the funds to have a try? You may want to consider the Access to Success Route, The Open University's unique and low-cost entry route to further study. If you live in England and have an annual household income of less than £25,000, you may be successful in gaining a place. Visit www.open.ac.uk/learning/access or speak to AFF’s Employment, Training, Allowances and Money Specialist on 0779 9045955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Back to top
If you are considering taking a distance learning course why not look at the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council who accredit distance learning providers.