The Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten and the Shadow Minister of Veterans’ Affairs Amanda Rishworth have today announced that a Shorten Labor Government will commit $121 million to a comprehensive Veterans Employment Policy to provide greater support to our defence personnel as they transition to civilian life.
Labor’s plan will help our veterans into good jobs by doing more to boost recognition of their significant skills and experiences, and better support veterans moving into the civilian workforce.
Best estimates cite veterans’ unemployment as sitting at 30 per cent. For those who did not medically discharge, there is an estimated 11.2 per cent unemployment rate – which is more than double the national rate. This is unacceptable.
Helping business to train veterans
A Shorten Labor Government will provide eligible business with a training grant of up to $5,000 in order to help veterans gain the skills and experience they need to move into a civilian job.
Whilst businesses are open to employing veterans, there can be specific short term skills gaps which act as a barrier to employment for an otherwise suitable veteran applicant. This grant is designed to bridge this gap.
In addition, Labor will fund an education campaign on the many benefits and translatable skills of veterans, to be developed by the Industry Advisory Committee
A new veterans’ employment service
A Shorten Labor Government will establish an employment and transition service which provides greater individualised, tailored support to transitioning veterans over a longer period of time.
Labor will establish a Defence Employment and Transition Service. This will be teamed with additional Transition Advisers, who understand both the unique skills and experience of our ADF personnel and how to best translate these skills for civilian employers.
Labor will ensure Advisers are trained and equipped to provide one-on-one support and advice to transitioning ADF personnel to give them greater opportunities, tailored assistance and effective support for longer. This expanded role will also undertake a comprehensive audit of the skills obtained by veterans during their service and ensure appropriate civilian recognition is obtained. Transition Advisers will also assess other barriers to successful transition such as secure housing and good social support.
Labor will extend access to this support for up to five years, following a period of intensive support during the first 12 months.
Expanded access to additional education and civilian training.
Labor will enable better access to additional education and civilian training for transitioning ADF members by reducing the length of service required to access the Career Training Assistance Scheme and increase funding for members, starting from $5,000 and increasing to $7,500 depending on the years served.
Labor will review access to training assistance to ensure that those with a higher risk following their time in the ADF can receive greater support.
Translating the experience of veterans
A Shorten Labor Government will work:
– to ensure that veterans receive recognition of prior skills and experience within civilian professional organisations and institutions;
– with States and Territories to expand the Queensland initiative of translating service personnel’s rank and length of service to a tertiary entrance score;
– with peak professional bodies to identify any current ADF training which meets professional civilian standards and work to ensure these are recognised outside of the ADF; and
– with Defence to establish a temporary security clearance for veterans to utilise as they apply for civilian work, providing a greater incentive to prospective employers.
When our men and women undertake to serve their country, we make a commitment to them and their family to support them after their time in the ADF. That is why Labor believes this is the first step to ensure those working in the defence force can move into meaningful employment, which is a key element of successful transition from the ADF to civilian life.
The Veterans Employment Policy will be funded through existing Defence resources.
Further information on Labor’s policy can be found here.
Wednesday, 21 March 2018