Queensland business urged to tap into veteran talent

By: RSL Queensland
Navy veteran Darren Williams and his new manager Simon Kirkpatrick
Navy veteran Darren Williams and his new manager Simon Kirkpatrick
Nov. 27, 2018 - PRLog -- A new online training package is helping Queensland businesses learn about the skills veterans can bring to their workforce.

RSL Queensland's new Veterans Onboard program helps employers understand veteran talent and tap into the pool of 5,500 people leaving the Australian Defence Force each year.

RSL Queensland President Tony Ferris said finding a job was one of the biggest challenges for veterans.

"Our research shows finding employment – and particularly meaningful employment – is a high priority for transitioning Defence personnel," Mr Ferris said.

"Employment is a key factor in their mental health and quality of life.

"When they leave Defence, their household income can drop substantially and they can struggle to translate their skills for the civilian world.

"Veterans Onboard aims to help employers understand the Defence culture and core skills veterans possess, as well as dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about ex-Defence personnel."

Work's important

After 15 years with the Royal Australian Navy, former Petty Officer Boatswain Darren Williams has found work at Gateway Motorway Services (GMS) through RSL Queensland's employment program.

"It took me a year," Mr Williams said. "I have a lot of experience but it's really hard to convey how that would be valuable to a certain workforce.

"Boarding vessels at sea and ensuring fishery compliance is not something that is easily transferable but GMS saw my managerial experience and helped me transition."

Gateway Motorway Services in Brisbane has employed six veterans over the past few months and general manager Simon Kirkpatrick said the RSL Queensland employment program had been very successful.

"I spent 27 years in the Air Force, so I understand the opportunities we have with ex-Defence people, their training and understanding of processes and procedures," Mr Kirkpatrick said.

"They come with a level of enthusiasm, learn quickly and are very adaptable."

Veteran skills

Mr Ferris said the ADF spent a lot of time, energy and resources training its people, which offered numerous benefits to employers.

"Veterans are hard-working, loyal, organised and effective," he said. "They are good at communication, leadership, time management, problem solving and working under pressure.

"Their expertise can range from senior executive leadership and operational management, to technical and supervisory skills."

Businesses and organisations can complete RSL Queensland's Veterans Onboard online training modules to learn more about Defence culture and veterans' skill sets, and to gain access to RSL Queensland's veteran talent pool.

The Veterans Onboard training package is evidence based, developed in partnership with Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation as part of the Veteran Reintegration Study.

Find out more at rslqld.org/Our-Services/employment-program/ (https://www.rslqld.org/Our-Services/employment-program/)

Barbara Cox, Sequel PR
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