New Transition Program Launched for Canada's Veterans

OTTAWA, March 23, 2017 /CNW/ - Today on Parliament Hill, a number of Canada's Veterans were joined by Parliamentarians and special guests to announce the new Veteran Friendly Transition Program (VFTP), a national program to support Canada's servicemen and women as they transition from service into the workforce.

"I had the privilege of leading the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces at home and abroad for over 30 years," said Lieutenant General (ret`d) Honourable Andrew Leslie, PC MP and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who hosted the announcement on Parliament Hill. "I know what value these Veterans can bring to Canada as civilians and I am delighted to see how this program can help hundreds more get and keep great jobs."  

Every year, the Canadian Armed Forces releases about 5000 men and women from service. Although a number choose retirement, many more want to transition to a civilian career, putting their skills and talents to work in a different way. That transition, however, is not always easy for Canada's Veterans as they face varying social, academic and financial challenges in finding employment and establishing a new career.

"Leaving the military and the men and women that you serve with can be very overwhelming at times," explained Master Corporal (ret'd) Michael McBride, who was released after 13 years with the military and three tours in Afghanistan. "There are so many complicated things that you have to learn to do as you go through the stages of transition, when all you really want is to provide for your family. For me, going back to school was very important to regain my confidence, to develop new skills and study along side other veterans just like me. It reminded me of how we worked together to serve this nation."

The new VFTP will combine career counselling, personal and professional support and course offerings, all under one roof, simplifying the transition process for Veteran students. Willis College, Canada's oldest college, will be home to the first pilot. 

"Willis College is pleased to be the first post-secondary institution in Canada to work with the VFTP," said stated Rima Aristocrat VFTP Founder and CEO of Willis College Canada. "Willis College has a long and proud tradition of supporting Canada's Veterans and is pleased to be a part of this new and important program for our Veterans."

Many industry leaders are supporters of the initiative, already knowing the benefit of hiring Veterans who have trained for a new career.

"Microsoft is committed to helping current and former men and women in uniform find new career paths in the technology industry," said Janet Kennedy, President, Microsoft Canada.  "We are pleased to be working with the VFTP and Willis College on this initiative that will establish a solid foundation for success in a new career for Canada's Veterans."

The program was announced on Thursday and registrations will begin in late April. Veterans released from the regular or reserve Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Provincial Police Forces are eligible to apply and register.

About Veteran Friendly Transition Program

The Veteran Friendly Transition Program (VFTP) is a transition program for Veterans that provides a flexible and supportive Veteran-friendly career and learning environment that will help enable Veterans to find gainful and meaningful employment following their service to Canada. Developed by and for Veterans, the program includes three components: a career and employment support program; a personal support program; and a training support program. The VFTP helps to ensure that Veterans have the skills and abilities to effectively transition from military to civilian life. More information is available on the new website:   

SOURCE Willis College

For further information: For more information or to schedule interviews: Dan Planetta, E:, P: 613-233-1128

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