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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3784 ..

We know that the average age of people departing from or separating from the Defence Force is relatively young, at around 31 years old. We also know that those who do exit the Defence Force are some of the most highly trained and skilled members of the workforce available. Many of them are natural leaders, able to perform highly complex work under high pressure.

That is why the government launched its veterans employment strategy in late 2017. That strategy focuses on assisting veterans as they transition from the ADF into civilian employment. The government’s vision is to make the ACT public service a leader in the recruitment and retention of veterans.

We want to model this behaviour to businesses and companies across the ACT and the region. It is my firm belief that employing veterans will be beneficial not only to the territory as a whole but also to individual businesses as well. That is why we have trialled a veterans connect event, which matched veterans to real job vacancies in the defence industry and professional services.

It provided practical assistance in explaining military skill sets and terminology in terms that civilian employers could understand. The government will continue to provide practical resources and programs to veterans to help them make the transition from the ADF to civilian employment.

MR GUPTA: Can the minister update the Assembly on the results of the ACT public service veterans employment program?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Gupta for the supplementary question. This government’s vision is to make the ACT public service a leader in the recruitment and retention of veterans. We have developed guides to translating military skills to the language used by the ACT public service to help veterans express this in a way that civilian employers understand. We have also been increasing the experience of our public service. We sent a number of officers to Exercise Executive Stretch. This week the head of Access Canberra has been sent to Operation Boss Lift, where he has been spending a few days in the Navy to experience what they do and what skills they bring. These programs help our public service to know the skills and abilities that our ADF members have, and start to break down some of the language barriers between ADF members and civilian employers.

We also attend the ACT Australian Defence Force transition seminars and soldier on pathways events, and actively work with interested veterans to match them to vacancies within the ACT public service. As part of the program we maintain a register of interested veterans and their skills to ensure that they are made aware of jobs that they might be interested in applying for.

Since launching the strategy, veterans have been able to self-identify on our HR system. In early 2018, 97 employees identified as being veterans. I am pleased to advise that this number has now increased and there are currently 131 ACT public service employees who identify as being veterans.

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