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Job Placement program Unveiled

The more than 2,000 Canadian Forces personnel who leave the service each year now have a bridge to help them with the transition to careers, jobs—even to starting their own businesses, thanks to a job placement program launched in Oct. 25 by Veterans Affairs Canada.

“This program will be a key tool to support our members leaving military service and will also help us in our ongoing effort to recruit Canada’s finest men and women to join the Canadian Forces,” said Laurie Hawn, parliamentary secretary to the minister of National Defence at a news conference in Ottawa.

The aim is to fit people “into a fully satisfying civilian career,” Monika Morrow, vice-president of Right Management, said in an interview with Legion Magazine. The career transition
and consulting firm that has won the $18.5-million contract to provide placement services for the next four years.

A job placement program was one of the key promises of the New Veterans Charter which came into effect in April 2006.

The program is open to current Canadian Forces members—and veterans released in the last two years—and some reservists and survivors of members or veterans.

Further details about who can qualify are on the VAC website, www. forces/nvc/programs/jp, or by calling
1-866-522-2122. A separate program is offered to personnel who have been medically released.

Veterans can enrol in the program up to two years after release, which is important, says Morrow, because left to their own devices some may have ended up with low-paying jobs, or settled for part-time jobs.

But there are plenty of opportunities for those with Forces experience and particular skill sets, said Morrow. “If you’re in a leadership role in the Forces, you can probably take just about any (civilian) leadership role,” she said. “Lots of trades are easily transferable. Technical roles are more difficult.”

However, there are employers for every skill set, especially in a workforce just beginning to feel the effects of the large number of retiring baby boomers.

Boeing Canada, which designs, develops and builds complex composite structures and subassemblies for aircraft, is one employer on the lookout for people with technical skills, she said; financial institutions have given Right Management a list of skills they’re looking for; and the oil and gas industry is looking for “all kinds of different skill sets.”

The program has three components, said Morrow: a workshop, one-on-one coaching and job-finding. “Two-day workshops will be held at every base and wing across the country,” she said.

The program is available to veterans anywhere in the country, even if they live in remote locations. “We can match veterans with consultants in their location of choice,” she said. “We also have a home-base program” for those in remote or isolated locations, who can tap into web seminars and telephone coaching. “No matter where you go, we can deliver the program.”

Workshops will touch on “everything you need to know” to land a job or make the decision to launch your own business. Topics include skills assessment, resumé writing, interviewing and negotiating job offers.

The second part of the program, coaching, is more personal. “One-on-one coaching provides in-depth assessment and a self-marketing plan.” It will help candidates decide what kind of job they’re best suited for, whether they want a different job, a part-time job, to start their own business, buy a franchise or retire.

The third part of the program is meant to generate job listings for retiring members and veterans. Part of Right Management’s brief is to provide job opportunities, a task made simpler because the company already has a long list of clients for whom they provide similar programs. More than 30 corporations have already expressed interest in the talents and skill sets of veterans, she said, and in the week the program was announced, there were already more than 75 job opportunities.

Forces veterans have highly desirable skill sets, she said, but sometimes don’t have full understanding of the variety of jobs calling for those skills. “We’re very focused and can partner with other organizations in the private and public sector to generate opportunities that are good fits” with the skills, ability and culture of the Forces.

Right Management has a similar program in the United Kingdom, where more than 10,000 personnel leave the services each year and the company has helped 96 per cent of their British clients find jobs within six months.

Eligible clients for the one-time-only benefit include regular force members or veterans who have completed basic training; reserve force members or veterans who have special duty service or emergency service and who suffer job loss or reduction in pay after this service. Reserve force members who have completed at least 21 months of full-time service during 24 straight months, veterans receiving Canadian Forces Income Support; and qualifying survivors of forces members or veterans are also eligible.

“This program will help our veterans make smooth transitions into civilian life and find new rewarding careers,” said Veterans Affairs Minister Gregory Thompson.


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