Veterans offered free TAFE and public service mentors

By Jackson Graham

Friday November 19, 2021

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Hundreds of Australian Defence Force veterans embarking on new career paths are set to receive free TAFE under a Queensland government initiative, and be encouraged into public sector employment. 

The government on Thursday announced it was supporting 300 veterans into new career paths with a $1.1 million commitment. 

The funding will also be used for a new mentorship program to support veterans in finding employment in the Queensland public service.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the funding would open doors for servicemen and women as they transitioned out of the ADF. 

“Veterans bring a wealth of skills and experience,” Palaszczuk said. 

The funding will be delivered in partnership with TAFE Queensland, which already works with veterans through its Transition to Civil Street program. 

TAFE Queensland chief Mary Campbell said moving back into civilian life could be challenging for veterans and the training employed ex-ADF officers who understood the skills, language and knowledge that veterans already had through their service. 

“The new Defence to Civilian Success Training Program will enable TAFE Queensland to further extend our support to more veterans and their families as they transition into new and exciting careers,” Campbell said. 

It follows Victoria this month doubling a subsidy for veterans transitioning from the ADF to civilian life. 

The government also recommitted to a target of putting another 750 veterans into public roles by 2025, after meeting that same target this year. 

It comes as reports into veteran mental health recommend the federal government consider mandatory transition courses and early preparation for service personnel exiting Defence. 

Australia’s veterans’ affairs minister Andrew Gee has committed to considering how mandatory transition courses could fit with existing initiatives, as the government prepares for the Royal Commission into Defence and Veterans Suicide to make initial findings in August next year.

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