Army spouses to be the focus for new AFF employment project

The Army Families Federation is delighted to announce a new Employment Research project in partnership with the Institute for Employment Research (IER) at the University of Warwick.

After a competitive tender process, the charity has chosen Warwick to conduct research into the real and perceived barriers to employment for Army families. This highly regarded institution will be conducting surveys and interviews with Army spouses and key stakeholders to find out more about the support needed to assist military families into fulfilling careers.

Better research for positive changes

AFF Chief Executive Sara Baade said: “With generous funding from LIBOR, we are now able to dig deeper into the issues surrounding spousal employment.

“We hope to obtain more robust evidence to help us achieve positive change for Army families who want to work, want to improve their skills, but are prevented from doing so for a range of reasons considered as relating to military life.”

The employment research will involve looking at employment statistics, and making comparisons with civilian counterparts to gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences these families are faced with.

Breaking down barriers

Clare Lyonette from the University of Warwick said: “We are very excited to work on this project for AFF, which will assist them in identifying any barriers that currently prevent military spouses from gaining and maintaining meaningful employment, and to help formulate recommendations for new and effective support services.

“Military spouses and partners have a variety of skills such as resourcefulness, adaptability and good communication skills, which are highly valued. Any pre-conceived ideas about military spouses can exclude a potentially valuable group of employees from the labour market.”

A fresh approach

Spousal employment has long been a focus for AFF, which continues to receive evidence from families that challenges in this area remain. While the evidence they have gained so far has been shared with chain of command and policy makers, the charity believes there is more work to be done, and that a fresh approach is needed to bring about positive, tangible change for those supporting their soldier.

The Employment Research project will feature surveys and interviews with families, key stakeholders and employers. Work has already begun on this extensive project and is due to be completed by April 2018.

Find out more

To find out more about AFF’s work in support of spousal employment, visit their website, or contact their Employment and Training Specialist Laura Lewin at


Notes to Editor:

  • The Army Families Federation (AFF) is the independent voice of Army families: Regular or Reserve, wherever they are based, whatever the make-up of their family.
  • Throughout the UK and overseas, AFF works hard to achieve policy change and progress in favour of Army families; they offer advice and guidance on all aspects of Army life, confidentially and in an easy-to-digest way.
  • They work with other agencies such as MOD, government, charities and other key players to strengthen their cause and fight for a fair deal for families everywhere.
  • Their family-focussed website ( contains information about all aspects of Army family life, and their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages offer families other easy ways to contact us, interact with us, or simply follow the work we are doing.
  • AFF operates by four core values, which are pivotal to our work. These are:
    • AFF always puts families first
    • AFF can be trusted
    • AFF is bold and determined
    • AFF is inclusive

Media Contact:

For more information about AFF’s work, contact Donna Bernard, AFF Comms & Marketing Director, at

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