Cost of living support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents facing the cost of living crisis.

Jobs, Employment and Skills

Advice and support on jobs, employment, skills and benefits


  • When posted overseas
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • New Bursary to get Veterans into Teaching
  • Working for yourself

When posted overseas

When serving personnel are posted abroad, spouses may need to give up their jobs to move with them.

Spouses, civil partners and dependents can claim income based Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit as soon as they return to the UK after accompanying service personnel working abroad.

The rule requiring them to be a resident for 3 months before being eligible to claim no longer applies.

The Government has now introduced an MOD NI credit scheme so that spouses/civil partners accompanying their spouses on an overseas assignment can claim Class 3 Contributions towards their state pension whilst they are abroad.

Help from the Department for Work and Pensions

Find out how the DWP’s enhanced access to Jobcentre Plus services  might affect you. 

Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champion for Essex

Andy Flexen-Pallot

Injury as a result of service

If you have been seriously injured as a result of service, you may be entitled to the Armed Forces Independence Payment.

Other information on jobs, employment and skills

Information on jobs, employment and skills can also be found through the following links:

  • The Career Transition Partnership  provides successful resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines. They also act as an intermediary service for employers wishing to hire Service leavers.
  • MOD Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme  promotes lifelong learning amongst members for the armed forces. Provides financial support for pursuit of higher level learning.
  • The Army Families Federation (AFF) is independent of the Army and offers confidential advice on a range of welfare issues including money matters and family life.
  • Regular Forces Employment Association  helps men and women of all ranks, leaving the armed forces to find and to remain in employment throughout their working lives.
  • The Royal British Legion  provides details of getting into work after leave the forces including training, job vacancies, interview preparation and a guide to starting your own business.
  • Recruit for Spouses provide help for military spouses to get into work or start their own business.

Locally, Colchester Institute, a vocational college have launched Building Heroes which provides skills training to Military Veterans and support into employment in the building trades.

New Bursary to get Veterans into Teaching

A government bursary of £40,000 will be available from September 2018 for ex-service personnel to retrain as teachers. Courses will be made available at universities nationwide from September onwards for those who have left full-time employment in the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force within the last 5 years. The bursary has been developed as part of the Department for Education’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant: undergraduate courses in biology, chemistry, maths, computing and modern foreign languages will be prioritised.

Find out more about the Bursary.

Working for yourself

  • Enterprise Allowance -  Jobcentre Plus has developed a new enterprise allowance to help people become self-employed. Applicants must be claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a minimum of 13 weeks and not be on the work programme.
  • Apply for a Start Up Loan for your business - Apply for a government-backed Start Up Loan of £500 to £25,000 to start or grow your business. You’ll get free support and guidance to help write your business plan, and successful applicants get up to 12 months of free mentoring.
  • GOV.UK -  Can offer an on-line service to support new business start-up, and help existing businesses expand and improve. The website has many sources of information to assist businesses including links to training and seminars.
  • HM Revenue & Customs Tax guide -  Support for people who are going self-employed.

Forces Families Jobs (FFJ)

Forces Families Jobs is the go-to place for training and employment for family members of currently serving UK military personnel.

Apply for jobs and access employment and training opportunities with companies and organisations who are forces family friendly. You can use this website with confidence in knowing that employers have signed the Armed Forces Covenant or are able to demonstrate their commitment to the Armed Forces.

This is your gateway to accessing information about acquiring new skills, upgrading your existing skills or applying directly to employers who are understanding of the unique challenges that come with being a family member of a serving person.

Forces Families Jobs


Once you have left the Armed Forces you may be able to make time to volunteer. You can make positive changes to people's lives whilst developing your own skills at the same time. Contact Community 360 to find out more.

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