Beyond The Uniform

New project to help CAF Reservists

Reservists struggling to find a meaningful job can now turn to the Career Edge Canadian Armed Forces Reservists Paid Internship Project set to officially launch on Oct. 29.

After much dialogue, Career Edge was awarded the contract for this pilot project in July of this year by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Career Edge will receive close to $3 million from ESDC to launch this pilot project. The three-year project begins with year one as a “top down” approach enlisting reservists from GTA, Montreal, and Halifax or Winnipeg. After the first year, it is intended the program will be available nationwide.

“We are also developing a strategy where we will be able to do a bottom up approach. Where people will be able to reach reservist across the country and we will arm them with the materials, the know-how and the support from our offices so they’ll be able to go down to an employer locally and say ‘hey I’m very much interested in a role and did you know I’m not only a reservist but I’m also qualified for the role that you have available,” explained Jay Yakabowich, Director of Business Development at Career Edge, and former Canadian Forces Reservist.

Employers will also be given the option of a subsidy provided by the ESDC for up to $1000 a month for up to 12 months. Yakabowich points out that small businesses and municipalities could be highly interested in this offer further attracting them to hire reservists.

“At the end of the three years the intent is not that this program will go away or that we go back to the federal government for more money, we will be self-sustaining,” said Yakabowich.

Working with the paid internship model for nearly two decades and helping 12,000 people launch their careers, Career Edge has a solid base of employer partnerships numbering close to 1000. Since the official announcement of the program in July, Career Edge has been working to inform their employer partners about the program and the transferable skills reservists come equipped with.

“The feedback we’ve received so far is very amazing. People are very excited about this program,” noted Yakabowich.

Some of these partners include Bell, Rogers, and CIBC.

The program is meant to not only help reservists launch meaningful careers but also help the CAF solve retention issues.

“We know for a fact that the CAF is struggling with the Reserve Forces. They have a retention problem. We want to help the reserve units with retention and help reservist find meaningful employment,” said Yakabowich.

Reservists wishing to sign up can go online and follow instructions that are part of the pre-screening process.

“What that means to the employer is that these people are pre-screened and they are ready with the right skills,” explained Yakabowich.

The launch brunch on Oct. 29 will be held at the Royal Military Museum in Toronto and will invite industry leaders, reservists, and the Department of National Defence to discuss the impact of the program. A networking session will follow.

“We don’t post jobs and people don’t just come from anywhere and apply. What we are about is prescreening employers. We want to make sure the employer is someone we want to work with and they have solid roles in which the reservist will be able to get their break and launch their career. We make sure these organizations are in a position to provide coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities to these people,” said Yakabowich.

If you are a reservist and are ready to launch your career visit the Career Edge website.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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Canadian Military Family Magazine