Starting March 31, Canada Company will cease to offer all of its Military Employment Transition (MET) programming including METSpouse.
Its METPathfinder portal will also be closed.
The decision to wind down the MET programming was made after Veterans Affairs Canada announced a revamp of its Career Transition Services and chose a third-party service provider through a bidding process to offer these new services in Dec. 2017.
Canada Company also put in a bid with two partner companies but was unsuccessful.
“I think everyone is really proud of what we were able to accomplish and obviously people were really disappointed when we didn’t receive the bid successfully along with the two partners we were bidding with, that was a bit of a blow,” said Angela Mondou, Canada Company President.
Currently, Canada Company is going through a phase of mass communication to inform all users and employer partners of the impending changes. Veterans are being redirected to VAC.
“We feel that’s the least we can do to support the great users and partners we’ve had over the years,” added Mondou.
Over the years, thousands of veterans and spouses have benefited from the MET program. Since its inception in 2013, 3,000 people have been hired, amounting to three people hired a day, thousands more have benefited from the program’s education component. Additionally, nearly 380 companies from across the country jumped on board as employer partners.
“We are really darn proud of what we were able to achieve as a charity nationally. And we feel we are a big catalyst in terms of getting the government to invest in it formally, the whole career transition services,” noted Mondou.
Even though Canada Company is terminating its MET programming, it will continue to offer scholarships for children of the fallen, their LAV III monument program and more.
“Canada Company will continue and remain as well as look at new opportunities for serving the military and the family,” said Mondou.
VAC’s revamped Career Transition Services will launch on April 1. The redesigned program greatly differs from the old program which offered $1,000 over a lifetime to veterans looking for career transition support. The new program is designed to broaden services by contracting the services out to a private company.
“We decided to go with a private sector deliverer because the kind of services that are going to be offered under this new program requires extensive knowledge and experience to navigate the civilian labour market. So, it was the government’s position that those kinds of services would be best fulfilled with a background in employment and career counselling,” said Mary Nicholson, Director of Rehabilitation, Income Support and Healthcare Programming with VAC.
The government’s bid was won by the Oshawa-based Agilec.
“I think key amongst their assets is that they show that they have really strong experience reintegrating clients into the workforce where the clients were facing a significant career change be that either a changing work environment, similar to the military context, or because of physical capabilities, also similar to the military context,” commented Nicholson.
Through the new program, veterans will receive job placement expertise free-of-charge across the country.
After completing an application, they will be referred to an Agilec counsellor. Based on their needs, they will then receive services ranging from resume writing, skills translation, labour market information to identifying potential employers and setting up interviews. Veterans will also receive follow-up services after finding employment.
Services will be available to veterans across the country through online platforms or telephone services.
Spouses of veterans can also take advantage of the program for up to two years after their spouse releases. The veteran does not have to be enrolled in the program for the spouse to join.
Veterans interested in the new program must be honourably released, have completed basic training and are a resident of Canada.
Applications will be available starting April 1 on the VAC website, offices, by calling in or visiting JPSU.