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Nothing we didnt know already:

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Nothing we didnt know already:

Old 27th Aug 2009, 16:22
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Nothing we didnt know already:

Press Release today:

Forces 'need thousands of recruits'
Forces 'need thousands of recruits' .Despite improvements in recruitment and retention in recent years, the three services need 4,460 extra men and women between them to hit their target levels.

Latest manpower statistics from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) revealed the combined strength of the Army, Naval Service and Royal Air Force to be 174,010 - only 97.5% of the 178,470 required.

However, that was up from the 96.8% last summer and the MoD stressed fewer people were leaving and more joining the forces.

It said the number of trained personnel who had left in the past year was down by 15.7%, while recruitment was up by 8.7%, year-on-year.

The Army had the biggest shortfall in manpower, of 1,960, although it also has by far the biggest staff of the three services.

The RAF was 1,620 down on its target level and the Navy was 880 short, according to the figures, which described the position on July 1.

MoD SPIN

Defence minister Kevan Jones said growing numbers of people wanted to make a career in the forces.

"The Armed Forces offer a challenging and financially rewarding career," he said.

"Each and every recruit will help to work as part of the international community to support the Afghan people as they build a better future."

>>>>The last paragraph means join now and time on the front line dodging bullets is a certainty. When this story is balanced with the redundancy package of '97 and the thousands of cutbacks in numbers by regular means there has obviously been an overswing of the pendulem into negativity of manning fiqures. I wonder if the PMA spin will still say that numbers are under control and that personnel are replaceable ie the world does not stop a little with every PVR. Or are they scared stiff that the end of the recession will see critical manning in addition to a lack of adequate equipment.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 16:38
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Traditionally high unemployment = better recruiting for the armed forces, nothing has changed then.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 18:44
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Both the above posts are true, but

... you're right to say that in times of high unemployment that more people consider going into the forces than would otherwise do. I faced a similar situation when I left school in Coventry in 83, which was dying on its arse (again).. but, in fairness, I had been keen on joining the RAF for a number of years before that, but the lack of other opportunities at the time certainly focused the mind on the alternatives and helped me to make my mind up.

So, yes, this years figures are inevitably going to look better/be spun better than last years.

However, it is also correct that since Options, on the whole the employment situation was not too bad in the outside world, by comparison with what had gone before. What hasnt changed, but may change a little now, is the PVR rate. If anything, as opportunities on the outside got better, those with portable skills - I remember a steady stream of enlisted Army, Navy and RAF with the basis of good IT Systems skills, particularly in CBM leaving Northwood and securing themselves good jobs. Hard won experience that is difficult to replace, even in this small sector, when you consider that at the time with Herrick and Telic, the systems in those theatres still needed supporting... which just led to more dependence on the contractors like myself. That exit rate may slow down now, people may elect to stay in longer than what they would have done, but the overall effect will still arguably be the same - as many will leave as will join, at least.

That still leaves the deficit to be addressed. Now, I am not in any way belittling the contribution made by those in uniform from the commonwealth. No way. They have more than proved themselves. But it is a poor indictment on recruitment and retention that in these post empire days with nowhere near as large a global projection required that we would still need to turn to overseas recruits to make up the numbers (Ghurkas excepted, naturally). As I said, dont get me wrong, I'm glad they do it, that they have the bravery and the dedication to do what they do, knowing what awaits them, ie tours of Afghan. But where are our own new generation?

I left in 99 due to several things; promotion had slowed to a stop; the trade was being rationalised, posts chopped, FI tours coming round every 18 months (I know, not the same as now, but at the time, remember it in context) accomodation was utter dogs**t (especially at Stanmore) andI thought I could do better by taking my chances in the outside world rather than waiting another 7 years for my pension.

So, I went for it and havent regretted it, not a bit. My trade has become a pale shadow of itself and I'm glad I've been an outsider looking in where JPA is concerned to mention but two things. At 1* and above, all three services are utterly bereft of leadership, being run by the same pension chasing, empire building fools who I couldnt abide 10 years ago.

Now, so many things are outsourced or civilianised and done badly, worse than they ever were when they done by people in military uniform, no matter how much we used to grumble about it. Its gone far too far.

The biggest problem we face now is that although we know the cold war is over, we still havent worked out what we are about and how to equip ourselves going forward. And what we can and cant do. Time to start punching at our weight instead of kidding ourselves we can repeatedly punch above it all the time.

But, I dont think anyone has the political will and forsight to do it. Too many vested interests, empires being consolidated; things are being done at MOD level mainly for the benefit of the inhabitants of Main Building itself rather than for the men and women who serve. The single service chiefs still think in stovepipes rather than in true joint ops terms, certainly when it comes to procurement. Its mad, it needs root and branch reform from the top to the bottom and it needs true leadership, which Dannatt excepted, it has not seen for a long time.

Meantime, the situation just gets worse, the covenant lies in tatters and we are burying far too many young brave men and women who deserve better than what they're getting and will never get a chance. For what?
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 19:38
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Jabba,

Quote 1 - I left in 99 .

Quote 2 - At 1* and above, all three services are utterly bereft of leadership, being run by the same pension chasing, empire building fools who I couldnt abide 10 years ago.

My question 1 - given that you left 10 years ago, how do you know?

My question 2 - would you include General Dannatt in that group?
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 19:45
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There seemed to be lots of wannabe posts in the OASC thread in the late spring and early summer but they have largely died down.

Now that the A-levels results are out and university clearing complete (?) I would expect the queries on PPRuNe to pick up. I think that may be just starting.

But apart from squaddies, the rest takes a significant time to work up to the front line.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 20:14
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What went wrong ? When they are up they are up and when they are down they are down. Or is it that they are neither up nor down

Army faces recession recruiting surge - Telegraph
Army faces recession recruiting surge
21 Feb 2009
Army chiefs have drawn up emergency plans to cope with an unprecedented recruitment surge following the collapse of Britain's jobs market.
Thousands of potential recruits have been flocking to recruiting centres in the last few months as the country entered a recession and unemployment mounted.

To cope with the increase, the Army has created a set of contingency plans, codenamed "Operation Solomon", under which a series of extra training courses will be run during the summer.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 20:25
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Unprecedented numbers applying is one thing; getting the right individuals is something very different. Remove the Walt’s, Daydreamers and Wannebe's and how many are left in the queue. Even if the remaining applicants are the best of the rest, it will take months in some trades, years (2?) in others before they are productive.

AL1

Thurs 27 Aug 2150L

Two adverts for RAF recruitment on TV within 2 mins of each other. The second for Reserve Service, yet I was discussing with an FTRS Regt SNCO just yesterday in which he stated that after the expense of creating a media recruiting facility (advert) they had been told to cease accepting recruitment applications. Is this smoke and mirrors or just mixed signals?

Last edited by Tiger_mate; 27th Aug 2009 at 20:53.
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Old 27th Aug 2009, 20:56
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There seemed to be lots of wannabe posts in the OASC thread in the late spring and early summer but they have largely died down.

Now that the A-levels results are out and university clearing complete (?) I would expect the queries on PPRuNe to pick up. I think that may be just starting.
Yes and no. Currently, all officer branches bar Pilot, WSO, Regiment and the medical branches are closed to recruitment until late September for some, February for others. It's the same case with quite a lot of the airman entry trades too.

The reason there aresometimes more queries in early summer as opposed to late is that that's just after the exams have been sat and people can't help but think they did poorly. When it comes to results time they realise they did all right after all, so revert to plan A, which 9/10 is head off to university.


Unprecedented numbers applying is one thing; getting the right individuals is something very different. Remove the Walt’s, Daydreamers and Wannebe's and how many are left in the queue. Even if the remaining applicants are the best of the rest, it will take months in some trades, years (2?) in others before they are productive.
Point is though, with more people applying - and the walts and daydreamers always apply - there are more good people. Candidates who would have got through previously [albeit on the lower end of the scale] won't get a look in now, because the odds are against them.


I start in 3 days and I'm conscious that there will be some people thinking I've only done it because I couldn't find a 'proper' job. The fact I've been building towards it for 12 years is lost on a lot of them. There are countless others on my course in the same boat, they've all wanted this for a very long time, it's just coincidence that we're joining during a recession and a surge in interest. We do, however, have a massive course.
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 08:27
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We do, however, have a massive course.
Don’t the schools and education wallahs keep banging on about “class size”? Their argument being that a larger class size diminishes the quality of education (training, in our case). Can we expect an increase in “re-course” and/or “chop” rate?
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 09:01
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1. Because I have continued to work very closely with the services ever since. Particularly so since 2004 to the present.

2. Absolutely not.

I had posted a mega rant, but decided better of it. I dont think any of us are under any illusions, we know what we know. A lot of contributors on here with a lot of front line service know a lot better than me.. It could have been seen as disrespectful to them, so I pulled it.
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 15:17
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The RAF was 1,620 down on its target level

And yet when I popped into my local AFCO this time last week to arrange a careers presentation for my ATC Sqn, there were only 3 trades open...

Cheers
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 15:26
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Don’t the schools and education wallahs keep banging on about “class size”? Their argument being that a larger class size diminishes the quality of education (training, in our case). Can we expect an increase in “re-course” and/or “chop” rate?
That argument is usually brought out to hide the fact that the quality of teaching has, more often than not, decreased.

I would doubt very much whether the recourse rate will increase, it might look worse, however, as the same percentage is now a larger real number.

In any case, it is not the fault of the students if they're placed in big classes.


[FWIW, I was in classes of 30+ all the way through school - both primary and secondary - and it never did me any harm.]
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Old 28th Aug 2009, 16:47
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Refresh my memory; who was it who made thousands of experienced military personnel redundant in the late '90s?
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 09:31
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I can't remember where, but the other day I read that the number of MoD civil servants outnumbers the RAF and RN put together.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 09:44
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That does not suprise me - tail gets bigger, dog gets smaller.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 11:25
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Originally Posted by Ash679 View Post
The RAF was 1,620 down on its target level
there were only 3 trades open...
The deficiency can often be at the highly trained and skilled level.

Say we need air traffic controllers, we get them from suitable assistants. Now if the assistants training courses are full but then we ares till short at one end but cannot take any more at the bottom
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 15:28
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I'm lead to believe that there are currently 87 000 working for MoD

98000 Soldiers

46000 odd sailors

41000 Airmen



Very approximate figures mind you. Seem's about right that it's all arse about face though. Tail wagging the dog, anyone...
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 16:40
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46000 odd sailors
Do you actually believe all sailors in the RN are odd? A little weird perhaps but odd? Maybe it's the same thing.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 17:57
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Course they are.
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Old 29th Aug 2009, 19:32
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Yeoman

You are right - but to make it less of a "my mate told me" story and to back your argument up the actual numbers are:

Army : 107200 (includes 11700 classified untrained)
RAF : 43480 (includes 4280 untrained)
Navy : 38420 (includes 4010 untrained)
Civil Service : 85730 (I'll leave it to the CS bashers to state how many untrained - however 29630 work in Centre (defined as Central, CJO, CSIT, DE and Trading Funds (DSTL, Meteorological Office, Hydrographic Office, DSG)! The CS figure also includes 2330 RFA pers)

Military and civilian figures from the DASA site, as at July 2009.

Now, I really should get back to having a life!
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