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Veterans Ombudsman Calls for Improvements to Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation and Assistance Services

Aug 26 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/26/13 -- Guy Parent, Canada's Veterans Ombudsman, released today a report entitled Investing in Veterans Vocational Training. The report examines the delivery and adequacy of Veterans Affairs Canada's vocational rehabilitation and assistance services and presents recommendations to ensure that Veterans Affairs Canada maintains its commitment to effectively re-establish Veterans into civilian life.

"Successful rehabilitation and vocational training are integral to the success and self-actualization of Veterans and their families," said Mr. Parent. "Access to programs for those interested in re-establishing into a career in the trades is comprehensive; however, Veterans interested in pursuing university-level education or attaining a professional designation do not share the same access to programs. Veterans should have the ability to self-actualize in the profession of their choice."

Since 2007, the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman has received in excess of 100 complaints about Veterans Affairs Canada's Rehabilitation Program, which administers medical, psycho-social and vocational rehabilitation services to former members of the Canadian Forces who have been medically released or have service-related injuries hindering their ability to work and transition from military to civilian life. Through further research, the Office identified areas of concern with the current vocational rehabilitation and assistance services provided by the Department as part of the Rehabilitation Program.

For example, under current regulations, the maximum tuition allotment of $20,000 creates a barrier for eligible Veterans to complete a University undergraduate degree, as the 2012-2013 average cost of doing so is $22,324. In addition, approved training is often limited to programs that build on the applicant's existing skills, experience and training, rather than allowing them to pursue occupations in line with their current motivations, interest and aptitudes. Inadequate performance measurement to monitor the subject matter and level of training applicants are receiving and their subsequent employment also makes it difficult to monitor and measure the program's success and improve its services.

"Former Canadian Forces members are a well-trained and highly skilled population that has a great deal to offer to the Canadian workforce and economy. They should be given the appropriate post-release training to self-actualize in the profession of their choice. In doing so, there can be significant benefits to both the Government of Canada and to Veterans and their families."

The full report with its four recommendations is available online at http://www.ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca/reports-rapports/rep-rap-03-2013-eng.cfm.



Contacts:
Lucille Hodgins
Communications
Office of the Veterans Ombudsman
1-613-943-7884
Lucille.Hodgins@ombudsman-veterans.gc.ca





Source: Marketwire


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