The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has a proud history of supporting employees who have served in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). In 2016, the ATO launched the Opening Doors program that was designed to provide fixed term employment opportunities to people with skills and diversity to enhance the workforce. The veterans stream of Opening Doors was established in 2017 and the aim is to provide opportunities for people who have developed skills within the ADF and to assist with the transition from fulltime service into a civilian workplace environment.
The Opening Doors initiative is flexible to match pay scale, responsibility and tasks commensurate with veterans’ skills and experience, and leverage off the abilities veterans bring to the workforce. The initiative is specific to veterans and is designed to showcase Defence skills and assist participants to see these skills in the eyes of a potential employer; also to provide a different environment for veterans looking to change career whether it be due to injuries or other reasons.
The ATO recognises ADF personnel have a lot of skills and experience to offer, which may be difficult to translate into skills suited for a civilian organisation. The Opening Doors program talks about not just the skill required to complete a task, but the behavioural and transferrable skills required to show the capability to complete the task. Program managers, learning and development areas and human resource staff can assist participants to recognise these skills and list the value of their existing and developing skills in their resumes.
Since the launch of the Opening Doors program, the ATO has engaged a total of 21 participants nationally. Opening Doors participants have provided feedback that their ATO experience has opened new career opportunities they would never have thought to pursue.