Unemployment Problems for Military Veterans
Blog, Veteran Employment, Veterans

The Extent of Unemployment Problems for Military Veterans

Unemployment Problems for Military Veterans

Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) may be capable and competent during their time in service, but these skills don’t often easily translate to civilian life. As a result, unemployment for military veterans is exceptionally high. Data from the Veterans’ Employment Program in 2019 found there are currently 641,300 veterans in Australia, with one in three unemployed. Those who are employed, on average, receive 30% less than their previous position. Adding to this host of problems, 19% of veterans are underemployed for their skills and qualifications.

There are many different reasons for the high unemployment rate for military veterans:

  • Disabilities or mental health stigmas
  • The need for licensing and official qualifications
  • Lack of certification for specific jobs

Many veterans have served in roles similar to civilian jobs, but their experience is often overlooked on their resumes. Most of them cannot translate or describe their military experience in civilian terms. For instance, a former ADF member specialising in visual information equipment operation is qualified to run video teleconferencing equipment. Employers are unable to understand such terms on a resume.

Lack of qualifications or training also plays a big part in unemployment for military veterans. Former ADF members may have the necessary skills for a range of tasks, but employers seek educational qualifications to recognise those capabilities. This makes it challenging for veterans to transition to regular employment from military service.

Higher education and further training can be a means to help reduce the unemployment problem for military veterans. With enough support, former ADF members can improve their job prospects and expand their employment opportunities. Non-profit organisations are working closely with educational institutions and businesses to help veterans find opportunities to learn and translate their skills for civilian employment.

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