Education and Training Assistance

There are many options for veterans in New South Wales looking to upskill or gain assistance to find employment in the public and private sectors.

Every year around 1,200 service members leave the Australian Defence Force and join an estimated 200,000 veterans living across NSW. Of those, almost 56,000 veterans and 30,000 of their family members are current clients of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs[1].

Veterans are often accompanied on the pathway to participation by partners, spouses and families, which is why these employment programs provide options not just to veterans but also their partners. The following programs can assist you with gaining new skills and qualifications, or recognition for the skills you gained in service, and securing meaningful employment.

Veterans Skills Program

In an initiative by the NSW Government, veterans and their partners will have access to fee-free training to broaden their career opportunities and help transition to civilian life after service.

The Veterans Skills Program enables eligible learners to study any course offered under the Government’s Smart and Skilled program from a Certificate II to Advanced Diplomas, including all apprenticeships and selected traineeships. Veterans and their partners can choose between 750 fee-free courses and will be offered through more than 450 Registered Training Organisations, including TAFE NSW.

To find out more, visit the Veterans Skills Program website.

NSW Veterans Employment Program

The NSW Veterans Employment Program provides help and support for veterans who are interested in pursuing a career in the NSW public sector. It was developed from research led by the NSW Office for Veterans Affairs, which now oversees the program. Reporting shows 1,626 veterans accepted positions in the NSW public sector between October 2018 and September 2022, and the program aims to see 2,000 veterans employed in new roles by December 2026.

To find out more visit the NSW Veterans Employment Program website.

RSL LifeCare Veterans’ Employment Program

RSL Queensland in collaboration with RSL LifeCare has launched a holistic veteran employment program. The RSL Veterans’ Employment Program can assist in finding the right role for you, giving you purpose and direction. If you’re a veteran or the partner of a current or former Australian Defence Force member, RSL LifeCare can help you take the next step towards finding meaningful employment.

The RSL LifeCare team delivers the following free services to veterans:

  • Career Counselling & Interview Preparation
  • Connections to Employers
  • Skill Identification and Assessment
  • Job Application Support

Veterans and their families can access the RSL Veterans’ Employment program by calling RSL LifeCare on (02) 8088 0388 or visiting the RSL Veterans’ Employment Program website.

TAFE NSW Ranks to Recognition Program

TAFE NSW Ranks to Recognition (R2R) assists veterans from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) transition into the civilian workforce. It is a partnership between TAFE NSW and the NSW Office for Veterans affairs. The program supports the Veterans Education Scholarship Program.

TAFE NSW offer veterans customised careers advice, counselling, skills assessment, recognition of prior learning (RPL) and training gap analysis to help identify the skills and knowledge acquired in the ADF.

For more information or to register your interest, visit the Ranks to Recognition Program page on the TAFE NSW website.

Commonwealth Scholarships Program for Young Australians

Scholarships of up to $13,000 are available for young Australians who meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Aged 15 to 24 years old, or exited the Australian Defence Force in the last two years;
  • Not in full-time work or school at the time of applying;
  • Living in one of the nominated regional areas;
  • Intending to enrol for an eligible VET qualification at the Certificate III to Advanced Diploma level which will lead to an occupation in demand.

Visit the program’s website for full details.

ACU Veteran Entry Program and Veterans Transition Program

If you are a current or former member of the Australian Defence Force, you might be eligible for Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) Veterans’ Entry Program which assesses your service in the military and converts it to an entry rank, similar to an ATAR. It then matches that rank to the requirements of the undergraduate or postgraduate course you wish to study and make you an offer based on the outcome.

Immediate family members of current and former Australian Defence Force personnel can access ACU’s Veteran Entry Program VEP, an initiative that recognises rank and service on applications for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. See this page on the ACU website for more information.

ACU’s Veterans Transition Program supports commencing student veterans as they transition from the military service through a free two-week preparatory program. Through tailor-made orientation activities, workshops, lectures, tutorials, and different types of assessments, the program equips students with the abilities and key skills to succeed in higher education.

To find out more about ACU’s veteran programs visit this page of the ACU website.

[1] NSW Veterans Strategy 2021-2024: