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Monday, 23 October 2017
Page: 11657

Mr HASTIE (Canning) (16:17): As an MP, I'm frequently approached by other veterans seeking help with the transition to civilian life. Often they tell me that their biggest struggle is translating the skills they learned in the forces to a post-service career. Through no fault of their own, businesses don't understand how employing a veteran can benefit them. While the government can and should address the issue, which the Prime Minister is doing through the Veterans' Employment Program, nothing can replicate programs tailor made for veterans by veterans.

WithYouWithMe is a veteran owned tech start-up that tackles veteran employment by offering a hand up for the people who need it. In their own words, 'With you WithYouWithMe's grand objective is to transform Australian society's image of veterans from the current stigma of broken goods to highly competitive talent that business should grab before the competition does.' I was fortunate recently to visit a group of nine veterans embarking on day one of a two-week training course run free of charge by WithYouWithMe. The group is the second intake of Perth veterans training to become subcontractors for the rollout of the NBN in WA. In the two-week training veterans receive basic qualifications like first aid, power awareness and pole-top rescue. After that, they enter a 12-week traineeship program to learn on-the-job skills.

Since December 2016 WithYouWithMe has helped over 158 veterans get training, education and jobs. There are now 549 veterans signed up to their program. I applaud their work. They have asked for no handouts and no help from government. They simply get on with the job and are succeeding. I applaud their initiative, drive and vision. Well done.