Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has put the weight of his office behind a ‘Prime Ministers Initiative’ aimed at encouraging employers to look at ADF veterans as an “untapped or under-exploited talent pool” of people who have a wealth of leadership and problem-solving skills honed over many years in a unique employment environment.
During a media interview earlier today, Prime Minister Turnbull said the skills acquired by service men and women over years of military service were extremely valuable in civilian employment but veterans were often not able to translate those skills adequately in a CV or job application.
The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program is a coordinated multi-agency initiative through which the government has committed to help ADF personnel by improving the transition from the Defence Force into post-service careers.
Prime Minister Turnbull said his government would ensure all Australian Defence Force personnel were better prepared for the opportunities of post-service life.
“The Government will help our ADF personnel by improving the transition from the Defence Force into their post-service careers,” Mr Turnbull said.
“All personnel will have appropriate documentation, including health records, superannuation and training records, and participate in a formal transition process before separating from the ADF.
“All separating ADF personnel will also have access to employment coaching services to help them seek and obtain employment.
“The Australian Public Service Commission will participate in the transition process and develop a toolkit for veterans seeking employment in the public service.
“The APSC will also launch an online tool for aligning ADF rank to APS classification.
“A new APSJobs website will include specific information for veterans seeking employment in the APS when it launches in 2017.
“An information page for veterans will also be created on the government’s jobactive website, where employers uploading job vacancies will have the option to nominate if the position would be suited to a former ADF member.”
Prime Minister Turnbull said the government had a responsibility to the men and women who defend our liberties, and raising awareness about the unique skills our veterans could bring to any business, and smoothing their transition out of the ADF, will help even more veterans continue their contribution to Australia.
“Getting a good job, launching a new career, is essential to ensuring our veterans make the most successful transition from the ADF,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Our ADF personnel leave the military with unique skills and can make valuable contributions to business.
“It is in everyone’s interests to recognise the talents of our veterans and encourage the private sector to take advantage of that expertise.
“The private sector is best placed to develop strategies to recognise the skills of our veterans during the recruitment stage and to retain them in employment.
“Today the government announced the formation of an Industry Advisory Committee on Veterans’ Employment [comprising] leading Australian business people that will consider how to mentor ADF personnel and translate ADF skills for the private sector.
“All participating businesses will be given the title ‘Veteran Employment Ambassador’.”
Prime Minister Turnbull said the excellent work done by small, medium and large businesses employing veterans would be recognised at an annual Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Awards, the criteria for which would be developed in consultation with the Industry Advisory Committee.
He also said businesses would be encouraged to partner with a local ex-service organisation, such as the RSL and Soldier On, to develop strategies for driving veterans’ employment through an Ex-Service Organisation Industry Partnership Register.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan said, “We can never forget the service and sacrifice of the men and women who defend our nation, and we must also remember the skills our Australian Defence Force personnel learn in defending our nation can be readily applied in the private sector”.
“It is up to government, business and the community to celebrate those skills and find the best way to put them to use,” Mr Tehan said.
“Each year some 5500 ADF members leave the military and around 70 per cent do so to pursue an alternative career.
“The government will ensure our ADF personnel are ready for their post-service careers by ensuring no-one leaves the armed forces without all the necessary documentation, such as health and training records, and providing more support and employment coaching.
“The Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Program is a call to action for businesses across the country to better harness the talents of our veterans.
“Any business interested in learning about the benefits of employing veterans should email email@example.com
“We can all play a part in raising awareness of the enormous potential and talent of our veterans.”
Soldier On welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement.
A statement on their Facebook page says, “Yesterday Australian media heavily covered Soldier On’s new Veteran and Family Support program, which directly supports the Prime Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Initiative announced earlier today.
“This program, which we spent 12 months researching and developing, is an exciting step forward for veterans and their families.
“It is not just about creating job opportunities. It is about providing veterans and their families with vital support services, resources and opportunities to build success post service to Australia.
“After all they have sacrificed, after all they have done for our country, this is the least we can do for them.
“As our CEO and Co-Founder, John Bale says, “It is about giving veterans a hand-up not a hand-out”.
“Our veterans are not victims. They are remarkable assets and have a lot to give to Australian industry and community.
“Our program is about recognising our veterans’ remarkable skillsets, training and experiences.
“In return, we encourage industry to provide them with fitting job opportunities.
“Our veterans have been leaders in uniform. Let’s allow them to also be leaders out of uniform.
“So, what do you need to know about Soldier On’s Veteran and Family Support Program?
“Soldier On has identified transitioning from the military to civilian life is a stressful experience for veterans and their families.
“That’s why we have hired a team of experts to help veterans and their families better navigate this process.
“To help veterans forge new career paths and overcome any impacts from their service, we provide the following services:
EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT SERVICES
• Soldier On has Veteran and Family Support Officers working in our centres that specialise in helping veterans and their families forge new career paths after leaving the military.
• These services are open to all veterans who have served in the Defence Force since 1990, as well as their family members.
• These services will help veterans leverage existing skillsets for civilian employment, identify gaps in their skillsets and identify appropriate training, education and career development opportunities to forge new career paths.
• Veteran and Family Support Officers will also work on short-term and long-term employment goals with veterans, recognising many will need to earn an income while they pursue a new career.
• Ensure veterans and their family members are prepped and suited for job opportunities. If unsuccessful, Soldier On will continue to support you not only through employment and training opportunities but through social connected activities and psychological support, if required.
• For those unable to return to paid employment, Soldier On is setting up volunteer opportunities so there is the chance to continue to engage with others and connect with the community.
• As well as through our centres, these services are available via Skype and phone meetings.
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
• Soldier On provides evidence-based psychology treatments to veterans who have been affected by their service, as well as their family members, including partners, children, parents and siblings.
• Veterans do not have to have deployed to be eligible for this service.
• Our psychologists have specific experience in supporting those who have served.
• Our psychologists have specific knowledge, training and experience in working with people affected by trauma, including traumas not related to combat.
• We can help with:
o Transition from military to civilian life
o Impact of deployment/separation/relocation and family integration
o Complex Trauma/PTSD and stress-related issues
o Mood disorders, such as depression
o Anxiety disorders
o Relationship and interpersonal difficulties
o Chronic pain and injury adjustment concerns
• Our psychology services incur no out of pocket expenses to veterans and their family members.
• There are no limits on the number of sessions allowed.
SOCIAL CONNECTED ACTIVITIES & PROGRAMS
• Soldier On offers a range of social connected activities and programs to encourage veterans and their families to reconnect with themselves, their loved ones and the wider community.
• Social connected activities and programs have a range of purposes and benefits, from forming part of a veteran’s mental health treatment to allowing veterans to connect with other veterans and families and build vital support networks.
• Soldier On offers a range of programs and activities, ensuring there is something for everyone. Examples include:
o Soldier On’s Surf ‘Therapy’ Program
o Golf days
o Coffee catch-ups
o Art classes
o Creative writing classes
o Music classes
o Yoga classes
o Men’s and women’s weekend workshops
o Family days
o Sailing days
o Cycling programs
o Learn to play programs
o Volunteering programs and opportunities
You do not have to access all our support services. Some veterans or family members may just want help forging a new career path.
Others may want to access our mental health support services.
And some people may just want to catch up with other veterans and families and attend our social connected activities and programs.
We encourage veterans and their families to connect with Soldier On to access any of these services.
We acknowledge the experiences veterans have endured throughout their military experience will stay with them for life, which means we will be here to support them for today, tomorrow and the rest of their life.
To register for this program, please email your name, contact details and location to firstname.lastname@example.org