In 2011, the unemployment rate for young military veterans aged 18 to 24 reached 29 per cent. Younger veterans were 3.4 percentage points more likely to be unemployed between 2000 and 2011. The unemployment gap between veterans and non-veterans narrows dramatically with age and time after military separation. According to the report, limiting Veteran unemployment benefits could possibly lower the length of unemployed spells, but the long-term impact is unknown. There is relatively little information on the success of other federal measures targeted for veteran employment services for the civilian market.
The short-term increase in unemployment reported in recent statistics on freshly separated veterans from the military speaks only of job searching. While recently discharged veterans may have an injury that hinders their capacity to work, research does not support this as a root cause of higher unemployment. Some employers may discriminate against veterans due to the belief that they are all severely affected by mental illness. While this is a problem, it is does not provide a full explanation of the whole issue. Other reasons include a gap in education or training, however this can be easily remedied through recognition of prior learning services (RPL) or upskilling to obtain relevant qualifications. There is still much research to be conducted on the issue, however there are a few key areas for support which would help to improve these statistics:
Proposed Solutions for Consideration:
- Social involvement — research demonstrates that having social connections/peer support improves outcomes.
- Assistance coordination – a broad role in care coordination and support – starts with the fundamentals of housing and medical care.
- PHAMs/PIR recovery models, for example, place a strong emphasis on peer assistance.
- Partnerships, retraining, peer assistance, and dedicated employers and industries are all part of the employment journey.
The significant features of early intervention best practise are incorporated within the paradigm, including:
- Once the discharge has been scheduled, contact and service will be commenced as soon as feasible.
- Care coordinators who are military family members and have expertise in allied health can offer a broad perspective.
- With assistance tailored to the individual’s personal requirements, flexibility like rank/training constraints must be removed.
- Life Counselling is provided by skilled and competent personnel, with concern for peers and complimentary services.
- A holistic approach is used to ensure that social and family supports are in place.
- An emphasis on what can be done rather than what can’t
- Including work-directed tactics that track the individual’s progress at a speed that is reasonable for them.
- Evaluation to determine the program’s success
- Veterans’ involvement, performance, and ecosystem use are all aided by robust data gathering and analysis points.
What role does education and career prospects have in addressing veteran unemployment?
- Higher education is an international route to properly transfer veterans from military to civic life and to satisfying jobs.
- Some veterans have financial help from the Australian Department of Veterans Affairs, but instead of higher education, it’s mostly for short-term vocational training. There needs to be more help.
- Education offers significant psychological results for students, particularly veterans, and support for the process of civil transition.
Root Causes for Veteran Unemployment
Three significant causes primarily influence unemployment among veterans. These are some of the reasons:
- Translating military employment expertise into civilian terms is a difficult task.
- Obstacles to certification, such as licencing requirements
- Mental and physical health issues ie Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Even though 81 per cent of military positions had a near civilian counterpart, many veterans did not transfer their military expertise into everyday terminology. In the civilian sector, someone who runs video teleconferencing would be the military occupational specialisation Visual Information Equipment Operator-Maintainer. Those resumes are incomprehensible to employers. However, because they have a large number of civilian resumes to pick from, they tend to stick with what they know. Veterans might improve their chances of finding work by putting in the extra effort to adapt their military CV into civilian terms.
- Many veterans looking for work are frustrated by the difficulty of obtaining suitable qualifications. While specific technical disciplines, such as “signals communication,” may not immediately transfer to Silicon Valley computer code, many military vocations are nearly equivalent to civilian employment. When a veteran pursues the civilian counterpart of past military occupation, he or she is confronted with daunting, perplexing, time-consuming, or expensive requirements such as certification or study.
- Suppose a veteran wants to transfer his or her driving skills to a civilian truck driving job. In that case, he or she must obtain commercial driver certifications after driving a million-dollar armoured Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle for 12 hours per day in Afghanistan’s mountainous and mine-filled roads. While various programmes have been established to help with the transfer of military talents to civilian professions, many veterans have been discouraged because they are unaware that such employment services for veterans exists.
- Disabilities associated with service, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), can have an unconscious detrimental impact on veterans looking for work. While it is illegal to discriminate against disabled veterans, some firms are hesitant to hire from this group for fear of being unable to integrate disabled veterans into the workplace.
- Unemployment has far-reaching consequences that go beyond a loss of money and the threat of poverty. A veteran’s health might worsen as well as his or her financial and emotional well-being, especially if he or she is unemployed for a lengthy period of time. Depression and suicide are two of the most common health consequences of veteran unemployment.
- Many vocations, especially military occupations, offer a great sense of purpose, pride, accomplishment, attention, and responsibility. After leaving the service, many veterans hunger for a feeling of community and connection. The workplace might be stressful, but there is no substitute for what employment give in terms of structure, support, and significance, especially for the mentally vulnerable.
- The anxiety and stress involved in searching for a job can often lead to depression, especially when people have been unemployed for six months or longer. A study revealed that being unemployed is associated with a two to the threefold increased relative risk of death by suicide compared to being employed.
Australian veterans fought through emotionally, physically, and spiritually trying situations for months and years. They went home with the hope of a new beginning, new chances, and a chance to put the past behind them. Unfortunately, many of these veterans struggled with the adjustment, and a large number of them fell into the trap of long-term unemployment.
Community Involvement Solutions (CIS), is a registered charity providing veteran employment services which offer relief from poverty, economic disadvantage, and mental and emotional anguish, via education and training. We assist individuals to improve their position by implementing holistic programmes that achieve significant change in collaboration with Veteran and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.