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AIB waiting time

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
There aren’t enough STEM graduates in the UK - the RN is not alone in a shortfall in applicants. Given that even 20 years ago quite a few of them were being grabbed by the financial industry (that can pay silly money) or into bleeding edge tech firms, I can’t imagine it’s much different.

200 Officer “applicants” - what do you mean by this? 200 extra at AIB, 200 to medical (noting some fail), 200 to sift or 200 making an expression of interest via the website? ARRSE has some fairly good numbers on what that actually means, but 200 to AIB = c20,000 looking at the website (IIRC).

Given that the people we have in Service are good enough, why would we waste time and money in actively attracting too many people? There is a fine line of diminishing returns.

Finally, I’m not sure how true it is we’re falling short in recruiting in the main. I’ll check when I’m back at work, but everything I know relates to retention - in particular at the 4-6 year point.

But a lack of retention means there is a crisis coming especially if training can't keep up. Either the navy needs to fix it's retention crisis or increase its training abilities (which would coincidentally get rid of a lot of the waiting times)

And it just seems a very pessimistic attitude to say that the current applicants are "good enough". You should be trying to get the best of the best while also fixing the retention issues.

Either way between the retention issues and the lack of training ability the navy is headed toward a crisis. And it needs to fix it. It won't fix itself. It'll only get worse
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
But a lack of retention means there is a crisis coming especially if training can't keep up. Either the navy needs to fix it's retention crisis or increase its training abilities (which would coincidentally get rid of a lot of the waiting times).

And it just seems a very pessimistic attitude to say that the current applicants are "good enough". You should be trying to get the best of the best while also fixing the retention issues.

Either way between the retention issues and the lack of training ability the navy is headed toward a crisis. And it needs to fix it. It won't fix itself. It'll only get worse


No, we're mostly in a good place with it these days. With COVID and the uncertainty of the job market, I'd fully expect voluntary outflow to see a reduction in the near future. The retention issue comes from more money on the outside and the ability to see your family more often. That's something that's being worked on as well.

The RN has plenty of people looking at these issues. I don't really see why a 2 year waiting time is that much of an issue, honestly.
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
What it comes down to, in my opinion, is this:

We're fixed in the number of people we can train a year. We have plenty of applicants and even have enough people joining. What we're lacking is people staying in the RN. We simply cannot keep up the training to match the outflow


When it comes to recruitment, it needs more people to facilitate it. I don't know how many people work at the AIB, but let's say 15 or so. That's 15 people that are taken out of their primary roles to go and do that job. To add more locations you'd need to take another 15 or so for each one which only adds to the operational manpower burden, people getting frustrated that they're doing more back to back deployments and then leaving, further compounding the issue.

The same with a training establishment. The more recruits you have, the more infrastructure you need and the more staff and resources. Military training staff, medical staff, civilian support staff, money.

Civilian companies are also more likely to bring people in, trained, and ready to work within a couple of months. An AET, for example, takes around 15 months to become fully qualified and even then you can't call them experienced.

We also have people consistently leaving due to either retiring or PVR. The numbers, from what I understand, are set about a year in advance. If, for example, the personnel outflow for a branch doubles on what is expected then that branch will have to be prioritised. It's not a case of "we've had someone leave, recruit their replacement".

I get that it's a money issue and that largely isn't the navys fault. But surely the quality of your officers would be near the top of your list of concerns? If not the top concern? Would having another board location or doubling the current number of boards really be that expensive in the grand scheme?

I dunno, maybe it is impossible to reduce waiting times below 2 years for officer applicants due to budgetary constraints. But surely to God there's a way to get it below 2 years

And hopefully Covid will perversely enough help with recruitment although as we've established recruit numbers aren't neccessarily a problem for the navy

And do you genuinely not see the issue with a 2 year wait time? Really? Would you be fine waiting 2 years for any other job? You'd be ok with that?
 
Recruiting doesn't help the retention - if everyone still buggers off at the 4 year point, there's not a lot of point stuffing yet more in.

The structural requirements of the RN limits the number of people we want and need at any given point. I only have so many beds on my ship, so there's no point in getting people in to simply wait shoreside. Trust me, the very worst thing that can happen is to go through all your training, and then it all come to a shuddering halt for 12 months whilst you wait for a bed at sea.
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
Recruiting doesn't help the retention - if everyone still buggers off at the 4 year point, there's not a lot of point stuffing yet more in.

The structural requirements of the RN limits the number of people we want and need at any given point. I only have so many beds on my ship, so there's no point in getting people in to simply wait shoreside. Trust me, the very worst thing that can happen is to go through all your training, and then it all come to a shuddering halt for 12 months whilst you wait for a bed at sea.

I get that but my initial point was about the wait times for the AIB. Which I still maintain is ridiculously long
 
I get that it's a money issue and that largely isn't the navys fault. But surely the quality of your officers would be near the top of your list of concerns? If not the top concern? Would having another board location or doubling the current number of boards really be that expensive in the grand scheme?

I dunno, maybe it is impossible to reduce waiting times below 2 years for officer applicants due to budgetary constraints. But surely to God there's a way to get it below 2 years

The quality of my Officers is not a daily concern of mine. It's not even a top 10 concern.

I'm honoured to have dedicated and fun people to work alongside on a daily basis.

In 21 years I've only met two actively shit Officers - I've met the rest of the quality curve, from deeply average to stellar. I'm not sure how having more candidates would solve that.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
I get that it's a money issue and that largely isn't the navys fault. But surely the quality of your officers would be near the top of your list of concerns? If not the top concern? Would having another board location or doubling the current number of boards really be that expensive in the grand scheme?

I dunno, maybe it is impossible to reduce waiting times below 2 years for officer applicants due to budgetary constraints. But surely to God there's a way to get it below 2 years

It's not just a case of getting bodies to AIB. It's each individual AFCO, each applicant, medical issues, security vetting, how often Dartmouth intakes occur, how often the likes of Sultan and Collingwood can run an intake, having ships available that can host trainee officers.

You're not just going against other civvies but in service applications as well which causes a whole other host of logistical and administrative issues.
 

Waspie

War Hero
1/. But a lack of retention means there is a crisis coming especially if training can't keep up. Either the navy needs to fix it's retention crisis or increase its training abilities (which would coincidentally get rid of a lot of the waiting times)

2/. And it just seems a very pessimistic attitude to say that the current applicants are "good enough". You should be trying to get the best of the best while also fixing the retention issues.

3/. Either way between the retention issues and the lack of training ability the navy is headed toward a crisis. And it needs to fix it. It won't fix itself. It'll only get worse

I interrupt the film I was watching to throw in another 2 penneth into the mix.
Don't think we've had such a thread for a while. Liking this!!

1/. Even when I was in the navy suffered retention problems.
EG. 1st Sea Lords presentation at Prestwick, home to 819 NAS. He, (1st SL), stated "there was no problem with retention" a show of hands to indicate how many officer aircrew had their notice in! Nearly 70% had applied to leave.
Retention has ALWAYS been an issue. It is nothing new.

2/. To get the best of the best, good in theory. But now, who you promote if all applicants are supermen. You need a cross section of intelligence and abilities. So that some may grow and some idle along. If all were thrusters - problem!!

3/. I refer to 1/. The Navy has always had retention problems.

Applicants are two a penny. No offence! It's finding space and time to fit them all in, training etc.
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
So if we can't take any more, you could quadruple the numbers of AIB, but it wouldn't change the numbers going to BRNC. You'd simply change where you wait.

I'm not saying BRNC take more applicants. I'm saying increase the number of AIBs and that would both increase the standard of applicant going to BRNC and give candidates closure as opposed to being in limbo for years. So instead of waiting 2 years to get told you're not good enough you'd only have to wait 6 months, a year or whatever to get the result and move on with your life

The navy's and your attitude seems to be "we have enough applicants to fill most the roles we need so there's no point improving the process or trying to attract more applicant or in this case actively turn them off applying". And I just fundamentally disagree with that. The navy should be trying to get the best and that means having an application process that doesn't actively turn people off it
 

Waspie

War Hero
And do you genuinely not see the issue with a 2 year wait time? Really? Would you be fine waiting 2 years for any other job? You'd be ok with that?

I waited over 2 years to become an aircrewman. OK, I was already serving but the time I waited proved to be worth it once I qualified.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
I'd be surprised if 2 years from application to AIB is actually a common occurrence. The extraction numbers are also decided at certain points of the year when they have an idea of how many people will be leaving/booted out.

So if you have your AIB in Jan, they decide the numbers in Jan, then you might be in luck and get a place in May. If you have your AIB in Jan, they decide your branch in September, and they can't take you until the next May because of training, then you're SOL.

For example, for in service candidates the final selection board sits in July every year. If you have your AIB and pass in August, you're outta luck until the following July for you to go to board, then October/November to find out if you're going.
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
I waited over 2 years to become an aircrewman. OK, I was already serving but the time I waited proved to be worth it once I qualified.

And that's great. But there are loads who won't. I know first hand of 2 people who were thinking of joining but upon realising they could be waiting 1 and a half years or more decided not a chance. Now they may have been shite applicants but we'll never know now.

I think we just have a fundamental difference of opinion here (which is fine). The navy and the posters on here seem to be content with the current numbers of recruits applying and are thus making no real effort to streamline the process or reduce waiting times. I think you should be casting as wide a net as possible to get the best applicants and that means making the process much more quick and streamlined. Espeically regarding AIB wait times. It can't possibly cost that much to run double the number of boards and/or run a second location. That would half the wait times overnight
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
My AFCO told me (pre covid) that it'll be about 7ish months from finishing all the medical stuff to sitting the AIB. At a reasonable estimate I would have been looking at about 19 months from first application to attending BRNC. Hardly a speedy process even at the best of times. Obviously now it'll take way longer but that's not the navy's fault obviously
 

Waspie

War Hero
And that's great. But there are loads who won't. I know first hand of 2 people who were thinking of joining but upon realising they could be waiting 1 and a half years or more decided not a chance. Now they may have been shite applicants but we'll never know now.

I think we just have a fundamental difference of opinion here (which is fine). The navy and the posters on here seem to be content with the current numbers of recruits applying and are thus making no real effort to streamline the process or reduce waiting times. I think you should be casting as wide a net as possible to get the best applicants and that means making the process much more quick and streamlined. Espeically regarding AIB wait times. It can't possibly cost that much to run double the number of boards and/or run a second location. That would half the wait times overnight
Two things. Second para first. Difference of opinion of users on here is simply we have, in the main. Been through it and know what to expect or maybe we just accepted waiting. Who knows?

First para. Two people, even ten people. If they pull out of the application process. No problem. The next 2 or 10 simple fill the gap. Maybe wait 2 years.

Maybe - just maybe, the wait is all part of a master plan to see just how much you want to join the RN. A test if you will.

I don't see that two years would put you off personally. To stand toe to toe with us old crusties tonight shows you have determination and stamina. So stick it out - you don't have to agree the process is right but hey!! Life is a game.
 

Zoidberg

War Hero
My AFCO told me (pre covid) that it'll be about 7ish months from finishing all the medical stuff to sitting the AIB. At a reasonable estimate I would have been looking at about 19 months from first application to attending BRNC. Hardly a speedy process even at the best of times. Obviously now it'll take way longer but that's not the navy's fault obviously

The applicant numbers change so much it's not always going to be cost effective to set up extra AIBs to combat that wait and have infrastructure sitting there unused.

Currently, they're focusing on streamlining training and career plans to fix retention issues
 

Waspie

War Hero
My AFCO told me (pre covid) that it'll be about 7ish months from finishing all the medical stuff to sitting the AIB. At a reasonable estimate I would have been looking at about 19 months from first application to attending BRNC. Hardly a speedy process even at the best of times. Obviously now it'll take way longer but that's not the navy's fault obviously
Your getting there!!!:D
 

Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
Two things. Second para first. Difference of opinion of users on here is simply we have, in the main. Been through it and know what to expect or maybe we just accepted waiting. Who knows?

First para. Two people, even ten people. If they pull out of the application process. No problem. The next 2 or 10 simple fill the gap. Maybe wait 2 years.

Maybe - just maybe, the wait is all part of a master plan to see just how much you want to join the RN. A test if you will.

I don't see that two years would put you off personally. To stand toe to toe with us old crusties tonight shows you have determination and stamina. So stick it out - you don't have to agree the process is right but hey!! Life is a game.

But the absurd wait times being a "test" only makes sense if the trait you desire most above anything else in an officer is patience. If you're looking for anything else you know small things like, talent, ability, intelligence, temperament, knowledge or literally anything else then making applicants wait years is reducing your talent pool. Nelson isn't famous for his ability to sit on his arse for two years while the navy sorted out their application process and found him a place at the AIB is he?

And I've also pointed out that waiting 2 years simply isn't an option for some people. Especially poorer applicants
 
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Lovablesnowman

Midshipman
The applicant numbers change so much it's not always going to be cost effective to set up extra AIBs to combat that wait and have infrastructure sitting there unused.

Currently, they're focusing on streamlining training and career plans to fix retention issues

Well at least they're doing something hopefully it makes a difference
 
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