Dig­gers a gold­mine of hid­den tal­ents

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - ME­LANIE BURGESS

DE­FENCE Force per­son­nel are up to six times more likely to have the skills em­ploy­ers want, yet many strug­gle to find work when re­turn­ing to civil­ian life.

They out­per­form the gen­eral Aus­tralian pop­u­la­tion in eight of the 12 most in-de­mand skills iden­ti­fied by busi­ness lead­ers, new re­search from West­pac and LinkedIn re­veals.

De­spite this, vet­er­ans had an 8 per cent unem­ploy­ment rate 13 months af­ter leav­ing the De­fence Force — much higher than the over­all Aus­tralian work­force’s 5.4 per cent.

West­pac chief ex­ec­u­tive for con­sumer bank and Vet­er­ans’ Em­ploy­ment In­dus­try Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee chair Ge­orge Frazis said vet­er­ans of­ten strug­gled to com­mu­ni­cate their skills to em­ploy­ers and did not have large civil­ian net­works they could rely on.

Many vet­er­ans were also in roles that un­der­used their abil­i­ties. Tom Larter, ANZ chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the em­ploy­ment and train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion WithYouWithMe, ex­pe­ri­enced this first hand af­ter serv­ing in the army for 13 years as an in­fantry of­fi­cer and then tak­ing a job as an ar­borist, chop­ping down trees.

To ad­dress this is­sue, WithYouWithMe of­fers vet­er­ans free ca­reer guid­ance, train­ing and ac­cess to em­ploy­ers, and will host a ca­reers expo at the In­vic­tus Games from Oc­to­ber 20 to 27.

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