By Debbie Gregory.
Under the framework of the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, eligible transitioning service members can participate in job skills training, preparing them for veteran jobs.
The DoD SkillBridge initiative promotes the civilian job training authority available for transitioning service members. Service members meeting certain qualifications can participate in civilian job and employment training, including apprenticeships and internships.
The training can take place up to six months in advance of a service member’s separation, and must offer a high probability of employment. Training is provided to the service member at little or no cost.
Service members use the SkillBridge application to search for training opportunities that best fit their goals. Search based on your skillset, your desired location and transition date. When service members find relevant training opportunities they can inquire with the training provider to learn more details about the opportunity and the application process.
Service members can set up a profile in the SkillBridge application to receive email or Twitter direct message notifications when a training opportunity matches with your profile.
Through DoD SkillBridge, tremendous potential exists for service members, companies, trade unions, and others for leveraging this new DoD authority.
The program is governed by DoD Directive 1322.29 — Job Training, Employment Skills Training, Apprenticeships, and Internships (JTEST-AI) for Eligible service members.
To be eligible a service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting the JTEST-AI. The service member must initiate their own participation and also have approval from within their chain of command. For more information, visit the Department of Defense SkillBridge Program website.