The VFI has recently been awarded funding from the Forces in Mind Trust to carry out an evaluation of the Ministry of Defence’s Spousal Employment Support Programme (SESP). The spouses of Armed Forces Personnel experience unique challenges both in gaining and maintaining employment, with frequent relocation often cited as a barrier to long-term employment. In response to this, the MoD has recently launched this new employment initiative.
The primary purpose of the SESP is to help the spouses of Armed Forces personnel to optimise their access to employment, and to help them find employment at a level that is commensurate with their skills, knowledge and experience. In collaboration with the Institute for International Management Practice, the VFI are undertaking a two year project to evaluate this trial. This mixed methods project will involve collecting qualitative and quantitative data to assess the effectiveness of the SESP in meeting the employment support needs of military spouses. This research will be the first to attempt to understand the employment support needs of UK military spouses, and will provide evidence-based guidance for service improvement.