Dozens of support measures are outlined today in the UK Government’s official response to Andrew Selous MP’s report ‘Living in Our Shoes – understanding the needs of UK Armed Forces families.’
Military families will benefit from increased accommodation choice, free childcare and tailored career support. These bespoke Ministry of Defence initiatives have been introduced over the last year to support service personnel and their loved ones.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
I am grateful to Andrew Selous and his team for this detailed and valuable report. We’re committed to taking forward its recommendations and giving service families the support they deserve.
This Government is committed to ensuring no member of our serving personnel or their loved ones are disadvantaged due to the unique challenges of service life.
These improvements will also be reflected in the Armed Forces Bill, which will see the Armed Forces Covenant enshrined in law.
In the official response the Government outlines substantial progress made against the report’s recommendations.
These include a £200 million cash injection for improvements and renovations to service family and single-living accommodation and the launch of the Partner Career Support Programme Pilot. The pilot alone has provided online career advice and mentoring to more than 500 military spouses and partners thus far.
In addition, military families across several defence sites have benefited from the rollout of the ‘wraparound childcare’ pilot, providing children of service personnel aged 4-11 with free breakfast and after-school care to help to ease the burden for parents who are often held at readiness to be deployed on operations at short notice.
The Selous Report, commissioned in 2020, is part of a raft of initiatives in the Government’s ongoing commitment to make the Armed Forces a more modern and inclusive employer.