The Veteran Friendly Transition Program (VFTP) was the result of a number of years of work and study with Veterans, by Veterans and experts in the field of education and training to determine the career, education, and training approach best suited to help Veterans effectively transition to civilian life. From this work, it was learned that Veterans have unique career, education, and training needs grouped into three areas: social; environmental; and, support.

The Veteran Friendly Transition Program (VFTP) is a 52 week service that supports you, the Veteran during your transition from service. It includes career coaching, employment counselling, Veteran peer support, education and training classes on all aspects of transition. The aim of the program is simple - provide you with a flexible and supportive Veteran-friendly learning environment that will help enable you to find gainful and meaningful employment following your service to Canada.

Willis College, Est. 1866 was chosen as the location for the pilot because it has worked with Veterans throughout its history, providing job-ready education and training programs in shortest period of time to allow Veterans to find work following their retirement from service

The program includes three components.

  • The first is focused on career and employment, where the program team works with the Veteran and employers to determine the best career path for the Veteran and program of study.

  • Secondly, the program includes the full range of personal support services that Veterans might need to complete their studies, such as a full-time peer support coordinator who is available to work with Veteran students on any issues that might prevent their graduation.

  • Lastly, the curriculum includes awareness training on the possible sector of employment, Government of Canada Veteran benefits and programs, and prepares the Veteran to successfully enter the workforce.

Veteran Career Employment Support Program

The Veteran will first work with a career and employment coach to determine a potential area of study and employment. This is based on an analysis of the Veteran’s education and training background, a determination of the Veteran’s marketable skills, an analysis of the labour market, and discussions with potential employers. This collaborative work will lead to a determination of possible areas of study for the Veteran. From there, it will be determined if this is best achieved through full-time, or part-time study in a diploma, certificate program, or on-line self-paced learning, based on the Veteran’s situation and needs.  

Supporting this work will be a determination of the Veteran’s financial options and the personal support services that will be required to be in place to assist the Veteran during the program of study.

Veteran Personal Support Program

 A full suite of personal support services will be in place throughout the program of study to help ensure that the Veteran is successful. A full-time Veteran personal support coordinator will be on location to provide ongoing peer support, as required, and to connect Veterans to personal support services that they might need. The program has established partnerships with local, provincial, and federal service organization to help Veterans as issues might arise.

Veterans in the program are encouraged to observe key dates by allowing them the time in the curriculum to commemorate. A Veterans’ Student Council is in place to provide a voice to the Veteran and to raise concerns with faculty. The classroom areas are designed and organized with the Veteran’s learning needs in mind, and for Veterans with physical disabilities. Finally, there are Veteran members on the faculty.

Veteran Training Support Program

Campus scheduling is flexible, allowing students to meet the changes inherent in a transition from military to civilian life. The curriculum is modularized, allowing Veteran students to take only the training needed, thereby acknowledging training that may have been completed during service. The curriculum is supported by additional training throughout the area of study that includes: awareness training on Government of Canada benefits and services available to Veterans; and, presentations by sector employers. Nearer to the end of the curriculum, the program prepares the Veteran for the job enrolment process and the civilian workforce.