Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

inews - 'RAF admits ‘urgent’ need to solve shortage of trained pilots''

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

inews - 'RAF admits ‘urgent’ need to solve shortage of trained pilots''

Old 14th Jan 2023, 13:20
  #21 (permalink)  

 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Bourton-on-the-Water
Posts: 1,004
Received 2 Likes on 1 Post
Thanks for posting those contract details, Lima Juliet. https://bidstats.uk/tenders/2022/W45/786301120
But that document appears to be the source for at least some of the iNews article.

For instance, section 2, THE REQUIREMENT, starts:
The Authority urgently needs to increase the number of trained aircrew to match operational demands. The Authority is seeking consultancy support for guidance on how best to:
1. Uncover the true drivers of the aircrew recruitment-training-deployment processes and visualise this for easy consumption
2. Allow RAF to simulate outcomes (e.g. number of trained aircrew over time, cost incurred) given a selected set of potential interventions and engage stakeholders across the organisation on what the path forward should be
3. Work with our existing tech systems and data partners to develop a roadmap for how to deploy and scale appropriate digital tools and hardwire appropriate change into the organisation.

It then goes on to detail the deliverables that you quote.

So I’m at a loss to understand your invective against iNews, which you accuse of
slack research by an editorial team who couldn’t even be bothered to do a 2 minute search on Google and read the links.
It seems to me that iNews has done us all a favour by publicising this, and that, very far from offering “total tripe”, the paper is actually reflecting a deeply disturbing situation that the taxpayer needs to be aware of.

airsound

airsound is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by airsound:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 13:50
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 5,825
Received 83 Likes on 41 Posts
"There is no reason the RAF cannot get the job done if sufficient resources and management priority is given to the task."

And there is the problem - what we're getting is another "investigation" which will "make recommendations" no doubt. The system is almost designed to do nothing



Asturias56 is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Asturias56:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 14:37
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 78
Posts: 7,484
Received 18 Likes on 9 Posts
I would have thought getting enough aircrew would be a management priority, rather than new uniforms or terminology. But I'm an old bottom-feeding ex-ATCO.
MPN11 is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 14:43
  #24 (permalink)  
Below the Glidepath - not correcting
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 1,849
Received 26 Likes on 6 Posts
Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"There is no reason the RAF cannot get the job done if sufficient resources and management priority is given to the task."

And there is the problem - what we're getting is another "investigation" which will "make recommendations" no doubt. The system is almost designed to do nothing
Exactly this. This is the equivalent of the meeting to discuss what we're going to discuss in the meeting. Back to those requirements again;

'Uncover the true drivers of the aircrew recruitment-training-deployment processes and visualise this for easy consumption"
If the leaders and members of the flying community within the RAF don't understand this better than outside consultants, then something is very wrong - back to Bob Viking's point about asking the people in uniform what they know. As for "visualizing it for easy consumption", if you are in a leadership position and can't understand the problems you are encountering/causing without pictures and crayons, maybe you are in the wrong job? What I suspect they really mean is create a few easy soundbites for the MinDef to spout on the BBC where it's clear this is no-one in the Government's fault, and never has been".
Two's in is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Two's in:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 15:10
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 718
Received 31 Likes on 18 Posts
The requirement perfectly demonstrates the problem:
” True drivers”, “potential interventions “, “stakeholders”,”roadmap”, “ hardwire” etc
Fashionable management speak nonsense instead of military common sense.
A bit less of the former and more of the latter would by itself help the retention problem a lot.
Timelord is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 16:11
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: england
Posts: 1,139
Received 17 Likes on 5 Posts
Well the fundamental problem is that they're focussing on recruitment. I don't have the link, but USAF figured out a couple of years ago after extensive study that it is far more effective to retain than recruit. But recruitment gives easily measured statistics....
pba_target is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 16:59
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Location: SW England
Age: 71
Posts: 232
Received 59 Likes on 32 Posts
Originally Posted by Bob Viking View Post
The RAF have paid £480,000 to a US consultancy firm to tell them how they can fix the problem. I could have given them a few nuggets for a lot less. In fact, instead of doing what the MOD always do (pay a bunch of money to a civilian company for ‘advice’, most of which comes from recently retired military personnel) they could just do a better job of listening to the people they already have. You know, those uniformed SQEP that turn up for work every day and tell their chain of command when things aren’t right. Those same people that get ignored and fed up and then leave. Those same people that may even end up working for consultancy firms.

On balance, maybe let’s just leave the RAF to it and allow those people to rake it in as consultants. The RAF hierarchy will never learn.

Remember: money is not the answer.

BV
I worked as a consultant for over a decade after leaving. Money for old rope. Getting paid a lot more to say the same stuff as I'd been saying when serving. The difference was that they tend to believe consultants. Never understood the weird mentality behind this. One of my colleagues (former corporal) was earning around £800/day as a consultant. The job he was doing was at OF-6. This was over 20 years ago.
_Agrajag_ is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 17:10
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 95
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
link:



KISS - KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!
mahogany bob is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 17:43
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 4,645
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Funny the link must have been corrupted because it is missing what should also be there:

Deliverables not to be included:

1) Any result that would indicate poor planning, lack of prioritization, failure to adequately resource training, or any other causal factor that was due to the failures of the senior leadership managing the recruitment-training-deployment process

2) Any models that would clearly show the actual costs and project effect on operational readiness for different interventions on the recruitment-training-deployment process

3) A high level roadmap that would provide a practical framework on how to address the current failures in the recruitment-training-deployment process
Big Pistons Forever is online now  
The following users liked this post:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 17:48
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 5 Posts
Hey RAF recruiters,

I have a bunch of flying time mostly on freighters from small twin turboprops to heavy four engine turboprops and the heaviest of jets.

My great grandpapa came from England and apparently, the other one was from northern Ireland(I think one of the loyal groups). The other side is Eastern European but nobody's perfect.

Anyways, I would be happy with a month on, month off schedule on the A400 with first class tickets to work like my old company provided.

But be advised...
(a) I am a straight white male
(b) I don't want to work with stuffy people that have superiority attitudes with colonials.
(c) While I liked the Queen, Charles is a bit iffy(but I like him more than Harry now).
(d) Flying duties only, not desk stuff, etc.
(e) I don't like marmite(but I do like Elizabeth Hurley).
(f) They are called chips not crisps.
(g) I have previous British aircraft experience and know what a punkalouver is.

Call me if you need me. You know you do.
punkalouver is online now  
The following 3 users liked this post by punkalouver:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 18:20
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Gerloz
Posts: 822
Received 8 Likes on 4 Posts
And yet you can’t spell punkah louvre correctly. Might be a stopper. That and finding our King ( and yours I assume ) a bit iffy. I wouldn’t mention that at the interview.
MENELAUS is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 18:57
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 4,259
Received 25 Likes on 8 Posts
airsound - OK, I’ll spell out the total tripe for you from the article:https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/ra...pilots-2083957

A review into the aircrew shortage has been commissioned, with the RAF bringing in the Boston Consulting Group on a £480,000 contract to suggest potential solutions and to gauge support for different options.
Well, it isn’t, as per the contracts link, it’s actually been brought in to develop a software tool that can model the current situation and then be able to provide and visualise what options the the RAF management using it might wish to take. Of course, to make that tool they need to understand the flying training pipeline and course lengths (courses, capacity, etc…). They also need to understand the recruiting methods and timelines for an average ‘time of flight’ for a civvy being recruited and also how long someone takes to get through an OCU, LCR and CR work ups. Once you have that data then the software tool will allow the user, the RAF/RN/Army, to understand where problems may be starting to occur and hopefully react faster towards fixes. It will also allow the Services to create hypothetical scenarios to understand what effects things like Defence Reviews and aircraft grounding/pausing issues might do to the throughput. So, they have totally misread the SUR that is shared online (indeed if they read it all). As for £480k, sure it’s a lot of money, but about the going rate for something like that (my other half works in IT in the banking sector - they charge similar amounts for similar projects). The going rate for a single contractor is likely to be £1500-£2000 per day, so if you have a team of 5 and 40 chargeable days of work (which is 2 months) then that is is £10,000 multiplied by 40 or £400k.

Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, has revealed that at one point last year that the UK had more F35 Lightning II stealth fighter jets than it had pilots to fly them and that “the pilot pipeline was not where I wanted it to be”. By November, the situation had improved with 27 F35s and 33 pilots, but that included Australian and US pilots over on exchange and was “not a staggering amount”, Mr Wallace admitted to MPs.
Well go figure, pretty much all aircraft types ever delivered have had fewer qualified to fly it in the early days than the manufacturers are churning out. If it takes 4-6 years to recruit and train aircrew and only 2 years to manufacture, then you can easily find you have more aircraft than crews to fly them. You also have to wait for delivery before you can learn to fly them! It was the same for Tornado and Typhoon, it was probably the same for Hurricane and Spitfire too.

​​​​​​​The latest six-week long Boston Consulting review for the RAF has been looking at the “true drivers” of the problems and costing different potential solutions or “interventions” to increase the number of trained aircrew.
No it hasn’t. It has been tasked to produce a forecasting tool to be used in the future. This is what that linked SUR on the contracts link states “Allow RAF to simulate outcomes (e.g. number of trained aircrew over time, cost incurred) given a selected set of potential interventions and engage stakeholders across the organisation on what the path forward should be.” But iNews seem incapable of understanding basic English (or they didn’t read it!).

​​​​​​​Some pilots for some spy planes are expected to have to wait three-and-a-half years for training, while there is a two-year wait for those learning to fly Chinook helicopters, Sky News reported in August.
Not true. For a short time in the summer that was looking like the upcoming situation but recent changes and agreed programmes of action have seen significant changes to those numbers for the better. So much so that some have been restreamed to fast jet and rotary types in the past month or so.

So, you go ahead, read and believe what you like. But ask yourself this: what do you know about that the press is also factually incorrect about or just plain making it up? Then transpose it to all the things you don’t know about and consider whether that may be “tripe” too, as my past experiences of mainstream media have.

Now was that Haddock or Cod with your chips?
Lima Juliet is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 19:12
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Here, there, and everywhere
Posts: 1,009
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 5 Posts
Originally Posted by MENELAUS View Post
And yet you can’t spell punkah louvre correctly. Might be a stopper. That and finding our King ( and yours I assume ) a bit iffy. I wouldn’t mention that at the interview.
I'm not French, so don't like spelling it like louvre. OK, I'll bring a teddy bear with me to the interview and say I like to carry it everywhere like the King.

Anyways, I probably failed at the straight white male part(regardless of total experience). See below.

https://metro.co.uk/2022/08/17/raf-p...%20compromised.

Last edited by punkalouver; 15th Jan 2023 at 02:44.
punkalouver is online now  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 19:42
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 308
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Strewth. The spread of BS Bingo continues,. I'm with 'mahogany bob' - whatever happened to KISS? This sounds like something designed to cover up a fairly obvious clanger in somebody's forecasting. Not unusual.
.
It's not as if we have a large Air Force - or at laast its flying elements - these days. Nor is to the first time the Forces have got this wrong - as Lima Juliet commenst. So, maybe not enough 'learning' going up at the top end, if there is any truth to this. (And given what a current RAF pilot 'trainee in waiting' told me just a few weeks ago, I suspect there is some truth to it)

Surely any modestly competent manager should be able to figure out approximately what is needed using pencil and paper, or maybe a spreadsheet, just to look fancy and allow a few more tweaks and side estimates. We used to predict ahead our need for competent field experienced engineering staff in several complex & sometimes interlinked specialities worldwide for several years ahead, using spreadsheets to back up our pencil and paper intial estimates. It worked well enough for us to prosper and didn't cost the earth - get it wrong and the company would go bust - a major incentive!

Given those 'deliverables' brings to my mind the advice from RJ MIrchell to Jeffrey Quill, many moons ago - “If anybody ever tells you anything about an aeroplane which is so bloody complicated you can't understand it, take it from me: it's all balls.”
biscuit74 is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 19:59
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Scotland
Posts: 718
Received 31 Likes on 18 Posts
LJ, Haven’t we already paid the MFTS contractor to understand all that?
Timelord is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Timelord:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 20:34
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wherever it is this month
Posts: 1,709
Likes: 0
Received 18 Likes on 9 Posts
It was Treasury pressure to address the variability of the annual spend on flying training which compelled the MOD to contract it out. MFTS as contracted was certainly steady and predictable, but ignored the fact that the variability of the spend reflected the variability of the throughput requirement as outflow rates, organisational changes and defence review decisions on front line numbers worked their way through the system. Guess what, those things are still unpredictable (COVID and its effect on inflow/outflow numbers being just one example of a surprise factor).

I wonder if any consultant would have the courage to recommend terminating MFTS, bringing aircrew pipeline management back fully in house where it belongs, and accepting that the system should be sized to allow ups and downs in demand? Training its front line aircrew is part of the core business of an air force; international students should be used as backfill during periods of low domestic demand rather than being the priority output (as might appear to be the case right now).
Easy Street is offline  
Old 14th Jan 2023, 20:40
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 182
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
I think you will find that we are not just short of pilots, WSOP/O as well, I think the P8 fleet is badly undermanned.
The civilian training system is at fault but our major problem is retention, far easier to keep someone in than train someone new but lack of quality leadership never appears to be aware enough to care.
I enjoyed my 31 years but glad i am not part of the farce now.
1771 DELETE is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 20:43
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 4,259
Received 25 Likes on 8 Posts
Timelord

Nope - UKMFTS manage their own pipelines in flying training and they don’t even run everything. For example all of the ISTAR Mission Aircrew are still trained via the RAF and another contractor provides some key parts of that too. Also, this is a far wider than a tool for running the somewhat small bit that is UKMFTS. Here is an idea of the actual complexity:
  • Recruiting - AFCOs, UASs, OASC, Medicals (Capita initials and later ones at Cranwell) and then they come at different ages and some join from other Branches, Trades, Professions or even Services. All of that will affect the overall picture.
  • Phase 1 training - Modular Initial Officer Training or Basic Recruit Training/DE SNCO. Some go straight through, some take a little longer. Some fail all together. All of that will affect the overall picture.
  • Pre-Employment Training (PET) - AMTW with RAFCAM, SERE training, Centrifuge for those going on to live fly in Prefect (all types of Pilots inc RPAS), HF&CRM training at Cranwell and other course including the dunker for those going to helos. All of which will affect the overall picture.
  • Phase 2 training Part 1 - UKMFTS do MAGS, EFT, BFT, MEPT, BRT, ART and AJT, plus Observer/Aircrewmen and WSO training on 750NAS and Airborne Specialist training on 45 Sqn - this is the bit that you correctly identify is managed by the contractor. Then 45 Sqn provide some ISTAR training with another contractor to provide WSO and WSOp for the ISTAR Forces. Then the WSOp (ISR) Lg get language training from the Defence School of Languages. There is much more to all of this and all of which will affect the overall picture.
  • Phase 2 training Part 2 - OCUs and QFI/QHI work ups for Creamies and Skimmies. At the end of this they are deemed now ‘trained’ and are role disposed to their FL Sqns or to the Sqns at Valley or Shawbury. All of which affects the overall picture.
  • Phase 3 training - LCR/CR workups or B2-B1 Instructor work ups. QWI, EWI, QHI, QFI courses galore. 2-ship work ups, 4-ship or ups, Captaincy upgrades, aircraft upgrades, etc…etc… the list goes on. Then you have things like IOD1-5, IMLC, AMLC, etc… Then you have MAA training, or display work ups, etc…etc… All of which affects the overall picture.
Overlaying all of that you have failure rates, aircraft groundings or so-called ‘pauses’, then the weather doesn’t always play ball, or things like COVID (other viruses are available…) then you have plain life events - marriages, births, deaths and other such things. All of these affect the overall picture too. They can be estimated and that is what a proper planning tool will allow you to do.

Finally, understanding the whole aircrew demographic, their contract lengths, their extant Returns of Service, their medical status, their competences and qualifications, their hours, their preferences, etc… Also, understanding outflow, trying to forecast and understanding/estimating it within the tool to try and get an idea.

At present, all of this is run and managed in very distinct and localised ‘swim lanes’ where really only starts and finishes are understood at a basic level. Most are run on simple spreadsheets or worse. You need to remember that it might take, without any holds, a year to recruit someone, a further year for Phase 1 and PET, then 2-3 years for Phase part 1 then maybe up to a further year for those OCUs and a LCR/CR work up. There lies the problem - from understanding a requirement on the front line for a basic Wingman or Co-Pilot, then you are looking at a 5, or maybe 6 years with a bit of holding, lead time.

Tricky - doesn’t even go near describing it. Especially if you are fiscally constrained where any waste/excess is frowned upon and everything has to be “just in time”. Hopefully, that gives a slightly better understanding of what is needed to managing the aircrew requirements? Next add in Engineers, Air Traffic, Weapons Controllers, Fire Fighters, Med Services, Coppers, Scribblies (we are doing very badly for HR) and the myriad of other supporting staff and you can see how such a tool might be useful once proven to manage 10% of the RAF (which is the very rough numbers of aircrew compared to the rest).
Lima Juliet is offline  
The following 3 users liked this post by Lima Juliet:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 20:52
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 4,259
Received 25 Likes on 8 Posts
1771 DELETE

Retention causes issues all of its own if you don’t keep a healthy churn going through. You end up with Dad’s/Mum’s Army with Cpl Jones everywhere. You also end up with too few with the reach to make Flt Cdr, Sqn Cdr p, Stn Cdr/CAW, Force Cdr, AOCs, DCOM Ops and potentially CAS/CDS. Therefore, only some retention is required and you can’t keep all or you end up with different challenges. Typically 30-40% of any workforce needs to keep moving up, 30-40% can leave and 30-40% can stagnate in retention. Those rates can vary a little, but if you retain say 60% of your workforce at the same rank - FS/MAcr/Flt Lt - then you bedblock the progress of the rest, then they leave due to a lack of advancement. So, retention is not the total answer. Even then, you must retain only those that you really need if they want to stay put.

But I agree, Mission Aircrew (WSO/WSOp) are just as important as the Pilots. Also, Engineers more than any other Branch/Profession/Trade are needed in support of the Aircrew and their aircraft. If those 2 fall over then you aren’t going anywhere!
Lima Juliet is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Lima Juliet:
Old 14th Jan 2023, 21:05
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Threshold 06
Posts: 542
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Originally Posted by mahogany bob View Post
link:



KISS - KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!
Mahogany…..

KISS!”

IIRC A Very popular phrase around the Lacey Green bazaars the 80s. From our low level in the engineering staff food chain it sounded good, and we tried very, very hard to comply.

However, our view was that putting people who actually knew their jobs and were dedicated to making them work, was the ‘simplest’ option. Sadly the hierarchy did not see it that way, as there appeared to be few opportunities for career enhancing cost cutting. In fact, by ‘lean managing’ the lower levels, everything became so complicated higher up that KISS went out the window. Obscuration seemed to become the name of the game.

Kiss? - I don’t think it was given a chance….Sad

The ‘Deliverables to be delivered’ yukspeak above is pretty typical bulls1t! Sir Humphrey would be proud.

Just my personal opinion, mind. 😉
oldmansquipper is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.