Education-to-employment pathways for Canadian Armed Forces members

Canadian Armed Forces members
Canadian Armed Forces members

The 2018 BC Labour Market Outlook reports that critical thinking, active listening, decision-making, and problem-solving are the top-rated professional skills by employers for the next ten years. It may come as a surprise that Canadian military personnel, no matter what their serving occupation, develop and practice these critical skills throughout their military service in high-pressure settings all over the world.

The Canadian Armed Forces is still a widely misunderstood organization among many Canadians. Unless there is an active war with Canadian involvement, most of the Canadian public is not aware of the daily contributions made by our forces – both at home and abroad

Canadian Soldiers in Camo Marching
A group of Canadian soldiers wearing green camouflage uniforms marches together.

The Canadian military provides incomparable training and professional development opportunities to its members that can also be applied to the civilian workforce. Within the Canadian Armed Forces, it does not take long for members to move into leadership roles where they are responsible for training or mentoring new recruits. This builds remarkable character and helps to develop in-demand workplace skills.

In the BC Lower Mainland, there is a large presence of military members that serve part-time in addition to their civilian work or school obligations (Reservists). These individuals are a tremendous talent pool for employers interested in gaining skilled and dedicated members of our community.

The BCIT Legion program works to connect skilled military members and Veterans directly with employers who recognize the skills and attributes they bring to the civilian workforce.

While the program specializes in assessing military service toward advanced placement in BCIT programs, the program also provides entrepreneurship training and career preparation support to assist our Veterans and members with their next career move. Connecting the military directly with employment opportunities seemed a natural progression to provide full-service support.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, over 700 military members and Veterans from across Canada have accessed the services provided by the BCIT Legion Program.

Using their BCIT platform, the Legion program is working to break down the misunderstandings and barriers faced by our military members and Veterans when pursuing their next career. The program aims to create an open space where employers can learn what military members and Veterans can bring to their workforce.


This blog originally appeared on BCIT By Justine Arsenault