The five-day courses allowed participants to get hands-on experience, with each of the 20 participants undertaking their Construction Induction Course (White Card) with Aspire Education prior to attending the SLAD training facility in Morpeth, NSW. On Day One, attendees were inducted then introduced to the machinery, with education on pre-checks, start-up and basic operations, before they were turned loose with one-on-one supervised hands-on operation.
The next day saw a site visit from local companies actively looking at employing operators, including Soldier On Pledge Partner, Fulton Hogan. Each company was given time to explain what they do and what they were after in a new employee and to engage with and watch the operators in action.
During the training, the SLAD trainers said they were thrilled to have the pleasure of getting to know each participant personally and engaging with them on a professional and interpersonal level. Their team of experienced trainers worked diligently to ensure that every participant received hands-on training and theoretical knowledge, ensuring their safety and competency. At the end of the five days, each student graduated with five accredited tickets.
One of the Soldier On participants who attended the training was Shane Lindsey. Having been employed for a number of years in the Defence Force, Shane had taken a break to travel. Upon his return, he found the work with Defence inconsistent and started to look to employment options in the civilian world. Shane reached out to Kevin Lomax, former Soldier On Pathways Officer and now Ambassador, to see what options were available to him.
Kevin put him in touch with Programs Officer Dean Mainey to discuss employment and training, and Dean worked with Shane on updating his resume. Learning that Shane wanted a role in civil construction, Dean then put him on a course with SLAD.
Following this, Shane attended a Soldier On Pathways Networking Event, where he was able to talk to a number of local Pledge Partners, including Singleton Council. Kevin and Dean suggested Shane talk to the Council’s representative to see what was on offer, as the Council was running a major recruitment campaign at the time.
As a Defence reservist, Shane was conscious he wanted to work somewhere that would be able to provide flexibility and support for his military obligations, and, after a quick chat, Shane felt confident that his skill base was suitable for the role and that his commitments to Defence were understood. An interview was set up for a position on the Civil Construction Crew.
After attending another SLAD course to gain his Front-End Loader certification, Shane was successful in winning a job with Singleton Council. He had found the outcome he was hoping for in an organisation he wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
“I can honestly say that without Soldier On and the Pathways team, I wouldn’t have been afforded the opportunity to slot into the role I’m now in, with a great organisation that understands and supports Defence members,” Shane says.
With firsthand experience of what support organisations like Soldier On are able to achieve, Shane is an advocate for breaking the stigma around seeking help after Defence. “Civilian life is vastly different to Defence, so transitioning or juggling the two can be quite a mission,” he says. “I was amazed at what Soldier On was able to help me achieve in such a short period of time. Massive thank you to Kevin and Dean, and Soldier On, for all the help and support they’ve provided me.”
He urges anyone who is looking for work after Defence to “take the plunge and speak to Soldier On.”
If you are thinking of transitioning out of the ADF or looking for employment options, register as a participant to find out how we can support you.