Preparing for the future

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

The opportunity for civilian employment within the Federal Government has become a reality for many post-secondary students looking for short or long-term public service jobs.

Several of the Department of National Defence’s new student hires are already at work at CFB Esquimalt and other military bases across the nation. Their presence has been bolstered this year following a report by Canada’s Privy Council in March that urged the government to revamp efforts to attract, retain and develop skilled labour for its civilian workforce.

The Annual Report of the Clerk of the Privy Council noted that since over 9,000 public servants have retired within the last year, the Federal Government must now work on innovative student recruitment “in an effort to mobilize the energy and creativity of a new generation of public servants.”

Following the report’s release, DND Deputy Minister John Forster made the pledge to hire 1,200 new student workers to its civilian ranks.

National Student Hiring Team stood up in March to expedite the student hiring process across DND. Roxana Kendall, team lead, says the 18-member team is specifically focussed on the recruitment and hiring process to make sure the Federal Government meets its hiring targets.

Kendall’s hiring team began the first big push to get several post-secondary and secondary students to work across the Formation in its Co-operative Program and Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP).

Civilian student employees who work at the base are broken into three categories:

  • Co-Op Program placements, which includes university and college students normally working a 16-week paid work-study term as part of their course of study;
  • FSWEP that enables full-time and returning students hands-on work experience and the ability to apply for targeted job opportunities as well as a general database anywhere in a variety of Federal Government departments; and
  • the Student Bridge Program that encourages the integration of students with past government work experience into a permanent or term public service position.
    Placements can range from highly-skilled technical jobs with Base Logistics and Fleet Maintenance Facility, to administrative positions within units at the base and Food Services, where a large percentage of FSWEP and Co-op students are placed.

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