Veterans have many valuable skills to offer the civilian workforce, but sometimes need support to identify a post-military pathway, acquire the necessary credentials or professional development opportunities, and connect with potential employers. These programs, organizations and resources may be of interests to clients who are currently serving or formerly served in the Canadian military.
Canadian Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Services, on behalf of Veterans Affairs Canada, provides vocational rehabilitation and vocational assistance services to veterans to help ensure successful transition to civilian life. It also has an Employer Portal with information for employers interested in hiring veterans.
Still-serving members or former members can apply for this service managed by Agilec, which provides career counselling, help with resume writing, interview preparation, job searching and, in some cases, job placement.
Coding for Veterans is an intensive program designed to equip veterans from the Canadian military with the skills required to enter and succeed in Canada’s technology-based workforce. Classes are taught both in person and online.
Individuals who were honourably released from the Canadian Armed Forces or are a member of the Supplementary Reserve and meet the “length of service” requirement might qualify to receive funding for education or training. The Education and Training Benefit is not limited to formal post-secondary training. A smaller amount of funding is also available for short courses, such as those aimed at career and personal development.
This non-profit program provides opportunities in the unionized construction industry for serving, transitioning and former military members. Its website features a Career Resources page as well as information for employers about why they should hire veterans.
This program is designed to help accelerate and advance the careers of current and former serving Canadian Armed Forces Members. It aims to recognize the knowledge and skills developed during military service to offer fast-track education options and career support services.
Military to Civilian Career Transition (The Centre for Career Innovation and Challenge Factory) [online course]
Self-directed career transition courses for veterans based the “A Question of Style” research project exploring employer bias regarding veteran working style, motivators and competencies; the project was conducted by Challenge Factory and funded by CERIC and the Canadian Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Canada. Courses include “Veterans at Work,” “Assess Your Career & Leadership” and “Explore Your Career Possibilities.”
The Military Veterans Program (MVP) connects CFA’s members with veterans and reservists. Participating CFA members can list their franchise opportunity, including special discounts offered for military veterans and reservists, on the MVP portal on LookforaFranchise.ca.
Prince’s Trust aims to create opportunities for young people and members of the military and veteran community through programs designed to prepare them for the transforming world of work. Its Operation Entrepreneur program focuses on helping participants connect to a network, progress and evolve their business.
Veterans Transition to Education (The Chang School of Continuing Education – Toronto Metropolitan University)
The VTE program provides one-on-one academic and non-academic assistance to past and presently serving, military personnel. It helps military community members identify potential education options, funding assistance sources, academic upgrading opportunities and more.
Books and guides
This book, available for free download and for sale in print, aims to help career coaches, counsellors, HR professionals, hiring managers and others working with ex-military personnel understand the unique challenges and opportunities in supporting veterans to transition to civilian employment successfully. Topics covered include career planning, job search, as well as coping and adaptation strategies.
The employment section of this guide includes information on job search, providing evidence of skills, competencies, job preference and more.
The Canadian Guide to Hiring Veterans is designed to help organizations that have limited human resources and recruitment capacity build strong, resilient teams that include veterans who are ready to offer their work ethic, leadership, and highly specialized skills to fill today’s skills and labour shortages.
Websites and resources listings
Canadian Forces (Skilled Trades Ontario) [Website]
This web page offers information on Trade Equivalency for individuals with a Canadian Forces Certificate of Military Achievement with a Qualification Level 5 (QL5) or Developmental Period 2 (DP2) rating in one of nine eligible military trades. To support veterans in their transition from military to civilian life, Skilled Trades Ontario provides an exemption from assessment fees.
Job Bank is committed to helping Veterans transition to meaningful careers in the civilian workforce. Its tools include Job Search, Job Alerts, Job Match and Resume-Builder.
Mission:Ready outlines information about available resources and support programs for soldiers, civilian employees of the Canadian Army and members of military families. The My Career in the Canadian Army page offers programs, resources, and tools to help build a better career and a happier work life.
This literature search was updated in 2021. Topics covered include: networking for veterans; post-war adjustment; women veterans; post-military resumes; and the transition to civilian life.
A compilation of resources for members or veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces including: Resources for Military Career Transition, Job Search for Veterans, Business Resources for Canadian Service Veterans, Canadian Veteran Business Directory and more.
A Question of Style: What HR and career professionals need to know about “misunderstood” candidate groups such as veterans (CERIC and Challenge Factory) [Webinar]
This free recorded webinar demonstrates how the challenges that veterans face serve as a good case study for all employers and career practitioners. Topics covered include: how unconscious bias about “cultural fit” in the recruitment cycle can be quantified and exposed; how members of hidden talent pools can combat unspoken assumptions that might otherwise limit hiring success; and specific insights about Canadian veteran civilian career transition.
Correlates of perceived military to civilian transition challenges among Canadian Armed Forces Veterans (Journal of Military, Veteran and Family Health) [Article]
Findings emphasize the importance of preparing transitioning service members and civilian communities for the social identity challenges they may encounter. Findings also support the value of programs and services that help prepare transitioning service members with managing finances, finding education and employment, relocating, finding health care providers, and understanding benefits and services.
Military-connected students are a diverse group of individuals with different intersecting identities, as well as real and perceived barriers to education. Darryl G. Cathcart and Darlene O’Neill share Fanshawe College’s journey to identifying and supporting military-connected students throughout their post-secondary journey.
This article shares lessons Elizabeth Nicholas has learned working with military spouses and members at the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre, as well as some tools and programs she uses to help clients succeed.
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