This week our founder Jess Sands was invited as a speaker to the International Military Spouse Employment Summit 2021 to showcase the work of Milspo® to a global audience and advocate for UK military spouses, partners and other-halves.

The International Military Spouse Employment Summit brings together invited participants from across the globe to focus on military partner employment, discuss common themes, and share knowledge with the aim of enhancing career development support for military spouses around the world.

Sponsored by The Winston Churchill Trust Australia, this event brings together stakeholders from across the globe to meet each other, showcase their military spouse employment policies, programmes and services, share their knowledge and expertise, and learn from others. It is hoped that this will seed future knowledge sharing and collaboration and enhance career development support for military spouses worldwide.

Over the past several years, there has been broad consensus across Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada that military spouse, partner and other-half employment is a quality of life issue for military families which influences the readiness and retention of military personnel.

The relationship between the quality and quantity of work and health is well documented. Career development support (or career guidance) aims to help individuals learn and grow the skills they need to manage their careers, make career decisions that will help them reach their potential, and address systemic barriers. For example, military spouses have always experienced career disruption as a result of military life. At the same time, the world of work has been changing rapidly due to digitalisation and globalisation, and the Covid19 pandemic has disrupted the labour market and society even further.

Career development isn’t just good for individuals. It also makes economies more efficient and societies fairer.


In 2018, with the support of a Winston Churchill Trust Fellowship, Amanda McCue travelled to the US, UK and Canada to investigate the various approaches to supporting the careers and employment of military spouses. This Churchill Fellowship highlighted how similar the employment challenges and opportunities of military spouses are between countries.

Last year, the Canadian Military Family Services planned to host the inaugural FVEY meeting focused on military spousal employment aimed at identifying common trends and sharing knowledge. Unfortunately, this event was cancelled due to the Covid19 pandemic.

This year the Winston Churchill Trust in Australia has provided funding to host an online International Military Spouse Employment Summit to support Recommendation 9 of the Churchill report to approach military spouse employment as a global issue as well as a national one, in keeping with the Trust’s motto of “Learn globally, inspire locally”.


‘A huge thank you to Amanda for all of her hard work bringing this inspirational group of military partner champions together from all over the world. We have had a brilliant few days connecting, sharing, and learning from our global counterparts, and I cannot wait to bring what I have learned back to our Milspo community. I know that this summit will be making a huge difference to military SPO’s everywhere!’ – Jess Sands, Milspo® CIC