Veteran jobless rate hits 30 per cent

Karen Sweeney
(Australian Associated Press)

Almost one in three Australian veterans is unemployed and those who do have jobs are earning far less than their previous jobs, a federal Labor MP says.

Labor is backing legislation to offer more mental health and family support to veterans when they leave the Australian Defence Force, but Amanda Rishworth says more is needed to transition them to new jobs.

Unemployment and underemployment of ex-service personnel is an issue that requires concentrated attention, she told parliament on Tuesday.

She quoted statistics showing 30 per cent of veterans are unemployed and of those who have jobs, they are taking home 30 per cent less in wages than they were getting from the ADF.

The Labor frontbencher said that unemployment figure would not be tolerated in many groups in the community and it should not be tolerated for veterans.

“More needs to be done to ensure employers can benefit from the many desirable skills of our ex-ADF and to prepare and train and enable those transitioning members to move smoothly into the job market,” she said.

Labor has backed the government’s overall veterans package, which includes a payment for veterans awaiting the outcome of liability claims for mental health conditions and $7.1 million over four years to provide child care, home care and counselling to veterans and their families.


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