The NSW Veterans Employment Program, unveiled by the State Government, aims to boost the awareness of the skills and leadership qualities possessed by ex-service personnel from all three branches of the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
Research shows that many former servicemen and women experience underemployment when they leave the military, and many employers are unaware of the transferable skills they possess.
But one year on from the launch of the program, 310 former ADF personnel have found employment in the NSW public sector.
About 70% of the new employees have joined the justice and transport sectors, while others have been employed in the areas of health, education and finance.
Minister for Veterans Affairs, David Elliott, said the success of the program showed that military skills are highly transferable.
“The NSW Government is committed to listening to our contemporary veterans. This includes supporting them as they move from the ADF into civilian work,” Elliott said in a statement.
“This program is also of great advantage to employers who reap the benefits of having these uniquely skilled workers”.
The program recently ran an education campaign across NSW public sector agencies to advise recruitment decision makers on the skills and attributes of former military personnel.
Participants in the program are also supported in matching their skills and experience to NSW public sector grades and capabilities.
Other states are now adopting the program, opening new opportunities for their ex-servicemen and women to find stable employment.
In November 2016, the Victorian Premier announced a strategy to employ up to 250 veterans to the public sector following the release of the ‘Victorian Veterans Sector Study Report’.
The report examined ways to better supporting the state’s veterans by understanding their needs and the obstacles they face when trying to transition back to civilian life.
The strategy will remain in a developmental phase for another 12 months while it is promoted to veteran networks and people leaving the ADF who live in, or intend on moving to, Victoria.
“Our veterans have selflessly protected us, so we have to do everything we can to protect them. They’ve earned it – for the rest of their lives,” Victoria’s Minister for Veterans, John Eren, said in a statement.
“Veterans can sometimes struggle with their transition back to civilian life. We’ll be taking a good look at how we can help young veterans find work and find their feet back home.”
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A ground-breaking program is making progress in helping former military personnel to utilise their skills in public and private sector workplaces.