Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Helios, Jan 26, 2008.

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  1. Need help with a decision. Currently I'm at Sultan entering my third week of my AET course, however, I'm always wondering whether i'd be better of as an ETME(SM). I think I may be better suited to the lifestyle, the shifts, and the money isn't bad either.

    Everyone says AET is the best job in the navy but i've heard of a lot of AET's being discontent with their jobs, on the otherhand, i've never met an unhappy submarine, they're always passionate about their jobs.

    Looking for advice from people who have been in the job for a few years and have first hand experience of either life as an AET or ETME(SM). Or maybe advice from people who have worked close to people in these jobs and know a bit of what they entail. I want to know more about the lifestyle, the promotion opportunities, the benefits, and the job opportunities when you leave! I tried to go the AFCO today to get some of these answers but it was bloody closed. I've spoke to people on base as well but they've never satisfied my queries.
  2. sgtpepperband

    sgtpepperband War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Have you spoken to your Training Staff or Divisional Officer about this yet? Be careful about asking potentially career-changing questions on here, because some people's answers may be tainted by a variety of factors (i.e. cynicism, out-of-date information, like winding Newbies up, etc.).

    But whatever you choose to do, good luck and keep us posted!

  3. Who's "everyone"? Do you mean everyone on your AET course & all those who persuaded you to go AET in the first place? Lots of people will claim their branch is best, no surprises there.
    No-one has first hand experience of the career (job) as an ET(MESM) it's not been going long enough. I'm not trying to be difficult, l merely make an observation that the branch has only just stood up, it's not the same as stoker, tiff or mech. However, it does involve engineering on submarines, which is a really good way to learn a trade (not saying that AET isn't). The career prospects as ET(MESM) are excellent, promotion to WO2 currently is there for the taking.
    It's a branch with a real future too, a healthy submarine build programme for the foreseeable future with A-boats being a phenomenal world beating boat, IMHO.
    Unfortunately, the AFCOs are unlikely to be able to give you any real detail, there are few submariners among the AFCOs.
    "A lot of AETs being discontent" perhaps, submariners "always passionate about their jobs" maybe not always, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world and can't wait to get back.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Deja Vu, Rodders! [​IMG]

    Possibly that may be true on a national scale, due to the relatively small percentage of submariners viewed in the RN as a whole, but fortunately in my local AFCO we have a CPOMEA Submariner, a submariner Leading Hand on loan & another senior rate submariner at the next AFCO North of us. By all means PM any queries & I'll forward the question to the relevant experts in that field. Any AFCO is in a position to offer in-depth advice from the relevant trade experts, the Submarine School (for example) and the relevant branch managers- when all's said & done that's what were paid for.

    There is a problem that rather bugs me at present regarding AET phase two training. There is a high exam fail rate in AET phase 2b training & many trainee AETs are acutely aware of this & start to feel the ramp-up in academic study as they go into technical training & the panic sets in leading them to consider a fall-back measure in case they struggle.

    At AFCO level we remind everyone that once they join, they cannot transfer trades. It seems that AETs are warned that if they fail exams, they will either be offered ET(MESM), which is a shortage category technical trade, or they will be discharged. This is to my mind utter folly: if you fail training you should be discharged & re-apply as with any other trade.

    The system in place completely devalues the trade of ET(MESM) and creates a wholly unrealistic view that creates the mindset of "If you fail AET, we will punish you and make you a MESM". It also completely contradicts the statement on the S3049 Attestation Form (Copy Below) which states that you cannot change trades.

    [align=right]Form S3049 RN
    Revised DNR Sept 06 [/align]

    Part 5 - Declaration by Candidate Continued

    I certify that:

    a) The Careers Adviser has informed me of the various branches and specialisations that I can enter and that once I have entered there is no possibility of changing my mind and try to transfer to a different branch. However, I understand that the service may transfer me to any branch that assumes the functions of the branch which I first entered. I am content with my branch of choice and have chosen to enter as:

    [align=center]YOUR BRANCH HERE [/align]

    b) The terms and conditions of service in this rank have been explained to me and I understand them. I have not been persuaded to join by any other offer

    Candidate’s Signature Date

    Signature Witness 1 Rank

    Print Name

    Signature Witness 2 Rank

    Print Name

    Part 6 – Final Approval to Serve in the Royal Navy

    6.1 I am satisfied that this candidate meets the requirements for entry into the Royal Navy

    Signature Rank Date

    Print Name
  5. lol Ninja Stoke, I had completey forgot about that old post!

    I have been informed by my DTO that I signed on the dotted line to be an AET so it will be very difficult to branch transfer, however it is possible. I'll see what happens tommorow.
  6. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Best of luck- it's not as though you've considered this on a whim as you were already thinking along those lines & can actually prove it from your earlier post.

    The fact that AETs seem to be told if they fail, they can only be a submariner sends out the wrong signals about submariners as it is an elite part of the RN, not a fall-back option as you are aware.
  7. As an ex Wafu maintainer who after leaving the RN spent some time working in boats SINS, if I had my time over again I would find it difficult to choose woo or deeps. Both are good.
  8. Hi Ninja. Yes, sadly this is true as mentioned before. There is now also a concern about the RT scores which we at the school are battling to maintain...well, we're battling to maintain that the good people coming in have a sufficiently high enough score. The RT score is there for a reason - it is a damn good indicator of whether the person stands a cat in hell's chance of academically completing training - a point that is currently being occasionally overlooked (with the best intentions). The problem with letting in a low scoring person is that you are setting up the chap for a fall and then discharge...not fair on the mob, not fair on the staff and it sure ain't fair on the individual who may be superb in all other respects.

    Anyway...back to the grindstone tomorrow!!
  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Good point Polto,

    Not so long ago AETs used to have to sit an additional maths test (It's the same test that was used for artificers) but that's no longer the case - whether that's linked to the increase in fails appears not to have been determined yet. The RAF version of AETs need GCSE's in addition to passing the RAF entrance test.

    Similarly, despite what the national education system proclaims, secondary school qualifications are becoming devalued, hence Naval Nurses now need 200 UCAS points in addition to their basic GCSE's & Officers will soon require more than 140 UCAS points likewise to be educationally eligible to enter service. (The Recruiting Test (RT) remains reasonably unchanged since 1943 incidentally).

    Often people ask what the hell the recruiter was doing putting a graduate in as a rating, a qualified nurse as an AET or suchlike. The fact is that the individual may have failed AIB or categorically stated they were 100% sure the trade they'd joined is what that definitely want, despte advice to the contrary. Six months down the training pipeline, the story changes as if by magic & a scapegoat is sought, with the convenient omission of the facts.

    As you rightly state the Recruiting Test (RT) is a fairly accurate indicator of the individuals' intellectual ability to pass phase two training. The "pass" figure for each trade is kept at the lowest possible level to enable the most people to choose each trade & also be able to pass training.

    If too many fail phase two it's usually because either the Recruiting Test target score is set too low for that particular specialisation, there's a flaw in the training methodology or the individual is simply too immature. If everyone passes, then maybe the recruiting test score required is too high & the question is whether they are recruiting those that will be stimulated sufficiently to want to stay in that trade and remain in the Service. In the latter case, retention figures come under the microscope to verify the minimum RT score setting.

    From a recruiting perspective it would be wrong not to advise a person who is thinking about joining a non-technical/lower scoring trade, to consider a trade which requires a higher score - if they reach that score. Often, a person that well "over-achieves" the score required for a trade, if not sufficiently "stretched" (mentally) will become disenchanted & leave. Similarly a person that wants to join a cerebrally challenging technical trade but fails to score high enough will immediately want to know what remaining jobs are available.

    Again, those that opt for the fall-back alternative trade are frequently disillusioned & leave, despite the fact that they will have been advised to re-sit the Recruiting Test 12 months later and go for the job they actually want, rather than take Hobson's Choice.

    The bottom line is that ideally everyone should be pushed to their respective limit & sufficiently stimulated to enjoy their job & want to stay in the Service.

    The required RT scores for each trade incidentally, are set by the individual branch managers, not the recruiters. The required score set by the branch mangers establishes the acceptable parameters which make an individual eligible to enter training. The careers service will not consider, under any circumstances, allowing a person to enter training who does not fall within the absolute eligibility parameters as laid down by each trade of the service- in other words if the parameters are not adequate, the individual branch needs to change them or the training syllabus rather than blame the recruits, the trainers or the recruiters.

    This is usually what actually happens sooner or later when the penny drops in the upper echelons of the trade in question- which is why it's important to have continuity in recruiting to remind the transient elements (Aka: "The Good Ideas Club) where the solution to a problem can be re-discovered, along with the routine re-invention of that circular pneumatic thingy on motor cars. Oh, and Weapons Engineers. [​IMG]

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