• Energy Queensland are one of the latest to sign on a number of veterans through the RSL Employment Program.
    Energy Queensland are one of the latest to sign on a number of veterans through the RSL Employment Program. Supplied

An RSL initiative that takes a holistic approach to veteran employment rolls out across Australia this month, following success in Queensland, Victoria and SA.

The RSL Employment Program not only helps veterans find work but offers an array of supporting services such as financial counselling, employment for partners and mental health support to empower veterans to remain in work.

RSL Queensland General Manager Veteran Services Rob Skoda said the program, based on a successful program piloted in Townsville, Queensland in 2017, has just launched in NSW and the NT with Tasmania to follow in mid-March.

“Every year, around 5,500 defence personnel leave the military for various reasons and unfortunately, a proportion of veterans struggle to find and maintain work,” Skoda said.

“The RSL Employment Program is designed to provide holistic and comprehensive support that address the unique challenges faced when transitioning from a defence career into a civilian workforce.

“The program’s approach has seen incredible success in Queensland, Victoria and SA, with 400 veterans so far securing jobs, plus a 150 per cent growth in enquiries and a remarkable 15 per cent growth in job placement in 2020, during a COVID-disrupted year.”

The roll out of the RSL’s Employment Program across the country has been made possible through a $6 million grant from the Australian Government, through the Enhanced Employment Support for Veterans grants program.

RSL National President, Greg Melick said former Defence personnel have a wealth of skills and experience that benefit civilian businesses, from technical and trade qualifications to corporate leadership.

“Veteran welfare is at the heart of everything RSL does and we welcome this comprehensive and holistic approach to addressing a major issue for our Defence family,” Melick said.

“When employers hire a veteran, they are hiring a committed employee who embodies team spirit, has a strong work ethic and is both an effective leader and team member.” Employers already on board with the program include Australia Post, Ergon Energy/Energex, Suncorp, Wodonga TAFE, Boeing, BAE Systems and Brisbane Motorways Services.

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