With over 58,000 veterans under the age of 60, Canada has a large pool of highly skilled individuals looking to transition into the civilian workforce. Veterans often struggle to find meaningful private sector employment beyond lower-paying, entry-level positions. Employers can – and should - do more to address the barriers these individuals face as they transition out of the Canadian Armed Forces. Not only do they want more meaningful work, they deserve it. Veterans are highly skilled, educated, trainable, work well under pressure, responsible and loyal; traits that are invaluable in an employee.
Our member, Via Rail, is a great example of how to effectively integrate veterans into their workforce. Over the last five years, they have increased their amount of hires coming from the Canadian Armed Forces. They have also created an informal network of their veteran employees to ensure VIA Rail can better understand their needs in terms of integration, but to also help them to recruit new hires. Additionally, they have put in place a Military Leave for Reservists Policy to allow for their employees to take an authorized leave of absence without affecting their career.
Here are some ways their organization has helped to better integrate veterans into the workforce:
- Adding questions pertaining to the military in their self-declaration questionnaire in their hiring process
- Mentioning the initiatives that contribute to their “military friendly” recognition in all of their communications
- Refocusing their efforts towards the support and presence with employment groups dedicated to the military
Inclusive growth can only be achieved by ensuring people from all economic sectors, regions and background can take part in our workforce and benefit from Canada’s economic growth. To learn more about how we are fostering inclusivity at the Canadian Chamber, click here.