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Fortem Australia partners with Churchill Education to support first responder career transitions

Fortem and Churchill Education have joined forces in helping first responders transition to the next stage of their career.

Churchill Education is now a Pledge Partners in Fortem’s Transition & Employment Program. Pledge Partners support job opportunities, training, education, upskilling and volunteering opportunities for post-service roles and careers. Our Pledge Partners come from the ranks of Australia’s most trusted, recognised, and dynamic brands, covering a wide range of industries as well as training and learning institutions and volunteering organisations.

The Transition & Employment Program hits a personal chord for Churchill Education Co-Founder, Randall Smith. “After 16 years in the Queensland Police Service, I received a PTSD diagnosis and had to leave my senior detective position, which I thought would be a lifelong career.

“In the beginning I thought the only other job I was qualified for was a security guard.

“Then I discovered RPL and achieved a whole range of qualifications. It was the boost to my self-esteem I needed during a very low point in my life.

“From there, Churchill was born. So for us it’s very personal. We are humans helping humans.”  

Randall’s story is similar to those we often hear at Fortem, as first responders who need to pursue new opportunities find it difficult to identify what they can offer outside of their previous career. One way to boost confidence is by gaining qualifications in the things they already have skills and knowledge in.

“The school of life is real, especially for our first responder community,” says Anthony Ferro, Transition Engagement Officer at Fortem. 

“Working with Churchill Education, we are able to look at how that real world experience could be turned into qualifications that can be used to move on to a new job, new volunteering opportunity, or new training and education.” 

Randall adds, “First responders tend to undervalue their skills and often are not aware of the desirability of their skills in other industries. On top of that, most thought they’d be in the job for life. Again and again we find that first responders are pleasantly surprised by the qualifications they can achieve through RPL.”

There are many qualifications that first responders can be eligible for, depending on their skills, background and the roles they have held.

“First responders develop a range of skills that are highly desirable in other industries, so there are typically a range of qualifications that first responders are eligible for,” says Randall.

“Whilst it depends on individual experience, we have assisted first responders to achieve qualifications ranging from Certificate IV and Diplomas, up to Advanced Diplomas and Graduate Diplomas in Leadership and Management, Work Health and Safety, Security and Risk Management, Project Management, Business, Government and Investigations, and also Logistics.”

Anthony says that going through this process with Churchill Education can help to identify future opportunities for transitioning first responders. “Clients who might be unsure what direction their post service career will take are often re-focused and have a new perspective when they see what qualifications they achieve through the RPL process.”

Learn more about Fortem’s Transition & Employment Program here.