Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (22:01): (1620) My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Local Government, Minister for the Suburban Development and Minister for Veterans, the Honourable Shaun Leane. This adjournment matter relates to the portfolio responsibilities of veterans. Many veterans successfully transition out of the Australian Defence Force to civilian life, but some have difficulties finding employment, in part due to the need to navigate new systems and processes. The Victorian government is backing our veterans to join the Victorian public sector with the Public Sector Veterans Employment Strategy. The Victorian government has provided more than $2.7 million to date for the strategy, including a $1.3 million boost in the Victorian budget 2021–22.
Hundreds of Victorian veterans who are transitioning to civilian life will receive support to bring their extensive skills and experience to the public sector. The government has set a target to get an additional 750 roles in the public sector by June 2025. It is great to know that the Andrews Labor government supported 767 veterans in securing public sector employment between June 2017 and June 2021, which is more than the goal of 750 we had set previously. Veterans have enormous value to offer, including skills in leadership, project management, innovation and communication. The government is working to employ more veterans on major government infrastructure projects and continues to promote skills that veterans have on offer to the private sector.
The action I seek from the minister is to provide me with an update on what resources are available to veterans in the Western Metropolitan Region to assist them in seeking work in the Victorian public sector.
Shaun Leane MP Minister for Veterans(17/11/2021):
I thank Ms Kaushaliya Vaghela, Member for Western Metropolitan Victoria for her question and for her interest in veterans’ employment.
The Public Sector Veterans Employment Strategy (the Strategy) was extended in the 2021-22 State Budget to employ a further 750 veterans by June 2025, bringing the total nubmer of veterans employed in the public sector to 1500. Under the strategy, veterans are encouraged to apply for roles across the Victorian public sector and are eligible for tailored support. This includes the Veteran Employee Network and Veteran Mentor Program, information sessions, workshops and online resources, which offer advice for veterans on finding vacancies, applying for roles, and effectively communicating the skills and knowledge they’ve gained in military service. I encourage veterans to visit the Victorian Government’s veterans website at veterans.vic.gov.au for information and resources relating to the Strategy, and to register for relevant information sessions and workshops.
As the Strategy evolves, I want to ensure that veterans are provided more opportunities to find work in the private sector, in local government, and in regional areas. In October 2021, the Victorian Government hosted the third Victorian Veterans Employment and Skills Roundtable (the Roundtable), which was attended by government, private sector, local government, education providers, and ex-service organisation representatives. The Roundtable offered the opportunity for these experts to inform us on how we can improve access for veterans to Victorian Government funded employment and training opportunities.
Veterans seeking employment can also access counselling and mentoring services through Jobs Victoria. Veterans and their family members are eligible for all Jobs Victoria services and veterans are a priority jobseeker cohort under the Jobs Victoria Fund.
On 8 November 2021, I was pleased to join Minister Pulford to announce that businesses hiring veterans who have been out of work or underemployed will now be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $20,000 through the Jobs Victoria Fund.
In addition, veterans and their spouses interested in construction roles can apply to participate in the Veterans in Construction program, which matches veterans and their spouses with job placements in the construction industry.
For those seeking to retrain or access education or skills, Victoria’s Free TAFE initiative is also available. From January 2022, the Free TAFE initiative will expand to offer more than 60 courses, helping to address Victoria’s skills and training needs for its future.
I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Victoria for raising the important issue of veterans’ employment and highlighting the valuable contribution our veterans make to the Victorian community.