Ontario is helping members of the Canadian Armed Forces make the transition to civvy street when they decide it’s time to try a new career path.
A two-year pilot project in the area near the massive CFB Trenton airbase will teach “soft” skills — like how to handle a job interview, business etiquette and workplace conflict resolution in addition to paid job placements with lessons learned being used to develop a model that can be used across the province.
The province is investing $834,900 in the pilot to create 56 training opportunities at the Trenton base for the information technology and financial sectors.
Called “Elevate Plus — Military”, the program is offered in partnership with Loyalist College in Belleville and the Quinte Economic Development Commission. The Military Family Resource Centre at CFB Trenton is also helping with the project.
“The transition to civilian life is a dramatic one,” Labour, Training and Skills Development Minister Monte McNaughton said in a statement released Sunday, in time for Remembrance Day.
“If often requires people to learn new skills to help them find potential employers, succeed in an interview and then excel in a new work environment.”
The average age of members leaving Canada’s army, air force and navy is 38, meaning they have “many years of work ahead of them,” added McNaughton, who said about 3,850 women and men exit the military every year to live or work in Ontario.
Loyalist College will develop and deliver an “intensive six-week program” for departing members of the forces, said president Ann Marie Vaughan.
The goal is to connect former military personnel and their families with “in-demand jobs” in the Bay of Quinte region, Chris King, chief executive officer of the Quinte Economic Development Commission.
The head of the Canadian Armed Forces military personnel command said life in uniform is more encompassing than many civilian careers given the demanding nature of the national defence mission.
“Serving in the military is not just a job, it’s a way of life that involves the entire family. There is no other career quite like it, a career that, for many members, becomes synonymous with their identity,” said Vice-Admiral Haydn Edmundson.
“That is why transitioning from military to civilian life can be one of the most difficult transitions members and their families make.”
In another measure aimed at helping the military, veterans and active service members of the forces will get free day-use admission to provincial parks on weekdays starting Monday as “a token of appreciation for the sacrifices they have made to protect the freedoms we have and the values we hold dear,” Environment Minister Jeff Yurek said.
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