Common misconceptions that army, navy and air force veterans often suffer from mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, carry ‘baggage’ or struggle to hold down jobs have contributed to high unemployment rates among this group.
“Many veterans under-sell their skills, believing their career has been one-dimensional. But most have been extensively trained and their experiences and knowledge are a highly transferrable fit for many mining and associated industry roles – from management and on-site work to training, leadership and diplomacy. Typically, veterans breed integrity and hard work and have shown leadership under stressful conditions,” said Katherine Blacklock, Manager Human Resources from Macmahon – a mining service company that actively hires veterans.
She said a successful shift from military-to-civilian working life is a problem that governments, commercial industry sectors and companies such as ours have been attempting to crack for many years. Typical obstacles include veterans themselves failing to recognise how their defence skill sets suit an everyday job, and a nervousness by employers about hiring a veteran.
“Veterans often tell us the transition process can be quite jarring and many feel there is a need for a new wave of consistent government policy and direct pathways to industry roles. In response, we have implemented targeted strategies for engagement, development and retention of ex-defence force personnel.