AFF discovers most military partners have to change careers

AFF recently held a successful event for policy makers and stakeholders to present the findings of our commissioned employment research with the Warwick Institute of Employment Research.

We were delighted to have MOD representatives attending to hear our findings and recommendations, as well as Kit Malthouse, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, whose constituency in North West Hampshire is home to many Army families, and who spoke of the importance of spousal employment and its effect on retention within the Army.

Key findings

Amongst the key findings presented at the event was that 63% of you had had to change your career due to the pressures Army life places upon you, with over half unaware of the support available to help you find work.

Cost and availability of childcare, mobility and negative employer attitudes remain major barriers for many spouses, and the study found that Foreign & Commonwealth spouses, and those with young children, are particularly affected.

Our recommendations

This project has allowed us to delve deeper into the issues spouses and partners are facing, and we’ve developed a series of recommendations to bring about positive change, including:

  • A new, free online jobs platform and information centre
  • Better understanding of new ways of working i.e. homeworking and flexible contracts
  • More evidence adherence to the Armed Forces Covenant
  • Targeted advertising of employment support programmes.

Longer term, we also plan to look more closely at how we can change the current military culture, whether subsidised childcare for military families is an option and how employer perceptions of military spouses/partners can be improved.

Moving forward

Our event marks the beginning of the next phase of our work in support of Army spouses and partners. To find out how AFF could help you, visit our employment and training pages or get in touch at

Click here for an infographic snap shot of the research results.

Read our full employment research report, Military spousal/partner employment: identifying the barriers and support required, here.



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