Canadian HR Reporter

November 16, 2015

Canadian HR Reporter is the national journal of human resource management. It features the latest workplace news, HR best practices, employment law commentary and tools and tips for employers to get the most out of their workforce.

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CANADIAN HR REPORTER November 16, 2015 NEWS 3 Reservist internship program launches Federal government-funded program offers subsidies for participating employers BY LIZ BERNIER EMPLOYERS reluctant to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars training employees on leader- ship, complex decision-making, risk management, teamwork and resiliency may want to consider a lesser-known but appealing op- tion: Hire a reservist. Employers can now find a worker with experience in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) reserves with the launch of a gov- ernment-subsidized, paid intern- ship program offered by Career Edge, an organization that con- nects employers with interns. e Toronto-based organiza- tion will receive close to $3 mil- lion from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to launch the pilot program. e funding will provide wage subsidies to employers hiring re- servists for internships who meet certain basic conditions: they are between 19 and 30 years of age, they have a minimum of a high school diploma and they have had no previous internships through Career Edge. "This is all about doing two things: Helping Canadian Armed Forces reservists launch their ca- reers with meaningful employ- ment and great experience, and employers getting experienced, phenomenal talent," said Kelly McDougald, board chair of Ca- reer Edge. Youth employment opportunities It's programs like this one that help develop strong leaders who drive organizations forward, said Don Ludlow, Toronto-based pres- ident of Treble Victor and vice- president of commercial bank- ing at RBC, which sponsored the launch of the program. "I am where I am today at RBC for two reasons. First of all, be- cause some great folks at RBC took the time to get to know me and hear a bit about my military background… someone gave me a change to tell my story," he said, and secondly, because of a career transition program not unlike this one. e first objective of the pro- gram is to place 225 reservists in civilian roles over the next three years, said Ludlow. e program will roll out in the Greater Toron- to Area, Halifax, Montreal and Winnipeg. "e average length of an in- ternship will be about six months, and we're aiming for about a 40 per cent success rate in terms of getting hired by the employer that sponsors (the intern)," said Ludlow. "is program gives employers a great opportunity to connect with reservists, and get funding in the form of a wage subsidy." Like many in their early 20s, young reservists often want to make a career change, said Pat- rick Kelly, director of reserves with the Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa. "Sometimes, (what they stud- ied) in school isn't where they need to go with their career, or the options aren't there for them," he said, and the internship program is an excellent way to leverage their military training in a civilian workplace. Military training Many reservists already have impressive educational back- grounds, said Jay Yakabowich, vice-president of marketing and business development at Career Edge. "If you look at the makeup of our Canadian Armed Forces reservists and average it out, roughly 50 per cent of them have a university degree; many of them have more than that. Twenty-five per cent of the remainder have some university or college, and the other 25 per cent — the bal- ance — have a minimum of a high school diploma," he said. But the military training and experience they receive is also in- valuable — the challenge is trans- lating that experience in a way ci- vilian employers can understand. at's an issue Marcus Yaeger, reservist and consultant for CAF programs at Career Edge, has navigated firsthand. "I didn't have a lot of recogniz- able corporate experience on my resumé that I could sort of lever- age to find a job. But, at the same time, at the age of 21, I had expe- rience being a part of and leading small teams; I had experience with making complex decisions in high-stress environments with deployment experience to Af- ghanistan, making decisions with ambiguous information or limited information," he said. "So for talent acquisition man- agers and hiring managers I would say, 'When you're looking at SKILLS > pg. 9 Competence. Validation. Trust. HRPA is proud to introduce the CHRP, CHRL and CHRE designations. The new global standard for HR excellence and professionalism. The Certifi ed Human Resources Professional, Leader, and Executive designations for HR professionals at every stage of their careers. Unleash the new gold standard: "Roughly 50 per cent of the reservists have a university degree."

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