“Remembrance Day Victoria” by Mark Teasdale is licensed under CC by 2.0
November 11, 2017, is not a day to quickly forget as winter weather, US Thanksgiving and Christmas quickly preoccupy our thoughts. Remembrance Day is not over for the 600,300 Canadians who are Veterans, their family members and those whose lives were changed by Canadian Veterans. As a recruiter, I am resolving to continue to promote the recruitment and employment of veterans for the next 12 months and beyond.
From pictures of Grandfather training horses for the Canadian Military in the snow to learning Canada’s role in the Korean war, to seeing where Canadian Peace Keepers are needed today to protect refugees and prevent war, November has been eye-opening. Keeping veteran support and opportunity in front of the mind is not easy for many people, but as a recruiter, I can reach out and interview veterans every week. Although not all of hundreds of thousands of veterans are looking for work, with the average age of 57, there are still hundreds of thousands of working age veterans that employers need to be targeting.
Military service and training often doesn’t translate well on paper, so employers need to look past the resume and talk to veterans, get them onsite for interviews and start hiring. As Canada improves its ability to recognizing military experience and training, I would like to highlight what Alberta is doing. Alberta immediately gives civilian recognition of 9 trades without requiring military personnel who hold a QL5 designation to prove their experience, write an exam or pay fees. The BC ITA, Ontario College of Trades, Nova Scotia and Manitoba Apprenticeship all waive fees but still require veterans to apply and write an exam.
Where Saskatchewan apprenticeship currently recognizes CAF roles as being transferable into the public and private sector but requires not only an exam but $480 fees be paid before veterans experience can be recognized. Hopefully, Saskatchewan will make a move in 2018 to remove both the fees and exam requirements and the other provinces that require the exam do as well.
These apply to Military Canadian Armed Forces Veterans with QL5 plus corporal rank in one of nine eligible military trades:
|Canadian Armed Forces Trade||Red Seal Trade|
|Electrical Distribution Technician||Construction Electrician|
|Electrical Technician (formerly Marine Electrician)||Industrial Electrician|
|Marine Engineering Technician||Industrial Mechanic (Millwright) or|
|Plumbing and Heating Technician||Oil Heat System Technician or|
|Refrigeration and Mechanical Technician||Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic|
|Vehicle Technician||Automotive Service Technician or|
Heavy Duty Equipment Technician or
Truck and Transport Mechanic
These fees and the government processing times need to be removed, across the country as they are barriers to employment for veterans. It is fine to ask someone to complete an exam if they can immediately sit the exam and study materials are readily available, but the current financial and bureaucratic time barriers that can result in months of lost employment representing millions in lost earning potential for veterans.
It is great to see Alberta taking the lead on veteran trades employment, now we need to see other provinces remove barriers to civilian employment or lose out to Alberta, who is again crying out for tradespeople as the economy recovers!
Kael Campbell is President and Lead Recruiter of Red Seal Recruiting Solutions, a company providing recruitment services in mining, equipment and plant maintenance, utilities, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. When he is not recruiting, Kael spends as much time as possible with family in the great outdoors and on the water. He volunteers his time as a Board Member of the Entrepreneurs Organization of Victoria and a Member of Victoria Marine Search and Rescue. You are invited to subscribe to our employer newsletter or submit your resume.