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Civilian Work Attachments

Improve Your Employability with a Civilian Work Attachment

A great way for Service leavers to gain sector specific work experience prior to leaving the Forces is by using some or all of your Graduated Resettlement Time allowance to complete a trial attachment with a civilian employer.

Civilian Work Attachments (CWA) involve undertaking unpaid work experience with an organisation, in order to gain insight into a particular job role or industry. Along with on-the-job training and experience, CWA’s can also ensure that employers and employees are well matched, prior to any commitments being made by either party.

Civilian Work Attachments can be mutually beneficial to both employers and Service leavers. Service leavers are able to gain vital experience in a civilian work environment, which may assist in future career decisions. This can also prove a useful tool for demonstrating to prospective employers that you hold an interest in their industry, and have committed time to researching the industry and gaining additional experience. CWA’s enable employers to view the range of skills held by the Service leaver, and to assess their suitability for potential employment.

Even if you don’t end up working for that employer, you’ve still gained vital experience and knowledge of that job sector – boosting your chances of getting a job with someone else.

You can find CWA opportunities advertised on RightJob, or can source your own placement by contacting employers direct.


Why take a CWA?

  • To gain experience of a particular industry
  • To try out a particular job role
  • To see whether your skills and experience are suited to the chosen position
  • To develop an understanding of the civilian working environment
  • To broaden your knowledge of the opportunities available to you in an industry
  • To illustrate a willing to learn to potential employers
  • To experience the culture of a particular organisation and to understand whether you will be a good fit for each other

How do Civilian Work Attachments work?

Your CWA can be taken at any time during your last two years of service. Travel and Subsistence can be claimed by CWAs do not attract IRTC funding as they do not include formal course instruction.


In line with any resettlement activity during Service, it is the individual Service leavers’ responsibility to liaise with their Chain of Command. Service leavers must seek and obtain permission to be released for the duration of the particular resettlement activity sought, prior to attending any official resettlement activity.

Joint Service Publication (JSP) 534 – The Tri-Service Resettlement Manual, details all resettlement policy and Service leavers should consult this in order to ensure that they fully understand the parameters.

Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT) is to be used for attendance on any CWA. Where insufficient GRT is available to complete a period of a CWA, then individual annual leave may be used, and exceptionally, Terminal Leave. The order of use for resettlement is GRT, then annual leave, then terminal leave in that order (JSP 534 Part 2, para 302 refers).

All CWAs, like any other resettlement activity, must be approved through the Service leaver's Service Resettlement Adviser (SRA) and MOD Form 1746 (Annex N to JSP 534) must be completed.


"Lots of Service leavers have found them really useful – so why not try one yourself?"

Success stories

"Have complete confidence that your skills, competencies and experiences are transferrable to the civilian sector. Do not be afraid to move to a new sector. Be bold and go for it."
John B  

More success stories