Another Newbie

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by Betty Swollocks, Jan 11, 2011.

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  1. Hi all,

    I’m a newbie to the site and very impressed so far as to how informative it has been. Most questions I’ve had have already been answered via the search bar.

    A bit of background on myself. I left school when I was 16 with 6-7 GCSEs and embarked on an apprenticeship scheme as a tool maker in the automotive industry. This consisted of shaping metal by programming and operating Conventional/ CNC machinery such as lathes, milling machines and surface grinders. The work in the tool room was often complex though very interesting and required working to very tight tolerances.

    While working I attended college on a day release basis and attended night classes and achieved a BTEC National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering obtaining a Distinction/Merit grade over the first two years. Following that I went on and did a HNC in Mechanical Engineering obtaining an overall distinction grade.

    As part of the 4 year apprenticeship scheme I also pick up a NVQ level 2 & 3 (basically technical certificates to say you are confident / proficient in the use of machinery and can carry out certain metal working processes.

    I have always been interested in joining the military in some way shape or form. I applied to join the RAF in 2006 to go in as a loadmaster. I got the chance to take the aptitude test at RAF Cranwell unfortunately I never made the cut. I made a balls of one section (memorising number sequence) which completely threw me on the following section. I was asked to reapply the following year as most people get it second time around apparently. I was a bit skeptical that my eyesight was good enough and as asked would it be possible to go to the optometry lab to get checked out. As I thought they were just below the required standard. So no harsh feelings and it was a good experience none the less and would prepare me for future aptitude tests.

    I carried on with my existing job for around about another year. Manufacturing was under increasing pressure with the closure of car production plants such as Longbridge and the scaling back of production by GM and Honda etc.

    Although there was decline of the manufacturing industry there was a boom in the construction industry. I applied for a technician’s role with large multidisciplinary civil engineering firm and got the job. (current job to date)

    This was a step up from my previous job and a steep rise in my annual salary. It’s an office based role in the traffic and highway design department. My job consists of designing road / carpark layouts using Auto CAD for county councils, supermarkets, retail parks etc as well as writing the odd service management plan. The moneys great just over 25K per year but it’s just not hands on enougth for me. Granted I do like getting out to conduct the odd survey every now and again and taking the lead role on smaller projects but I feel there is a void in my working life / social life. (Can never give a definitive time for finishishing)

    Like my previous job I went back to college at night and did an HNC in civil engineering and again got a distinction merit grade. Its hard work studying and working but I suppose it will always stand by you if you require it in the future.

    Around April 2010 I looked into either applying for the Navy, RAF, or TA never really fancied the army full time. After weighing up my options I decided go with Royal Navy. Having watched a few documentaries on TV (Warship & Air Force Afghanistan) as well as speaking to a serving member of the RN who’s an ETWE and he advised me that if I want to go and see places rather than spend your time stuck on base in the UK then the Royal Navy is the one to go for. I hope he’s right.

    I passed RT test in June 2010 with no problems. It was far easier than I envisaged though I’m guessing my previous experience at Cranwell prepared me for it or it was just a case that I really wanted it.

    Medical was completed in July again no issues.

    My fist choice is AET and my second preference is ETME. I’m now 25 hopefully I’ll get into Raleigh around the end of 2013 / start of 2014 which will make me 27.

    I think the first couple of pay cheques may be a shock to the system ( around - 8K per annum) but again I’m joining for a change in lifestyle as much as a change in career and being 25 it’s a case of now or never I think. I love skiing and motorcycling and basically any sport that gives such an adrenaline rush. I hope there are plenty of opportunity’s to do some adventure training once signed up to the mob. Something that would be somewhat limited cash wise in civilian life i.e. skydiving courses / white water rafting etc or is that all a bit of a myth?

    I’m just wondering is anyone else in the same situation with the exception of Scouse Castaway & Older Joiner who are around the same age as myself I think. All the other newbies seem to be school leavers or haven’t really embarked on a career as such yet or maybe I have just missed their posts?
  2. Jeez you forgot to mention the Epic Saga Writing Course you took.:notworthy:
    Welcome to RR.
    I'd say you'd be bringing a multitude of skills to the RN.
    Your education and work experience, depending on you passing all the Recruitment Tests and Medicals, would put you a mile ahead of some of the younger spakkers who get through barely able to tie their own shoelaces.
    Get ye to an AFCO soonest, the longer you wait the longer it's going to take for you to get to Raleigh.

    Quite frankly I'd consider going the Officer route, if you've got the UCAS points that is. Not so hands on as the Ratings roles, but with your experience perhaps a little more challenging.
    Good luck.
  3. Thanks for the reply

    Sorry yes it’s slightly long winded but basically gives an outline of what I have done / achieved over the last 9 years.

    From what I have ascertained from previous posts I have the required UCAS points to go down the officer route. In saying that I would be very surprised that anyone would get offered a role as an Engineering Officer without having a degree in an engineering discipline. In the civilian world you must have a degree usually with a minimum grade 2:2 before you can get chartered. Next year you may even need a masters degree before being able to be chartered.

    I would consider myself to be a very good engineering technician but don’t know if I would have what it takes to be an officer. Maybe a slightly defeatist attitude but I feel I wouldn’t have the experience especially in something like air engineering. After gaining 6-8 years experience (ball park figure) in that role then yes I would defiantly be up for giving it a go if I liked the sound of it but surely this would be to the detriment to your skills on the tools? (thinking of life after the RN)

    I’m slightly ignorant to the role of a engineering officer I’m sure they get far better pensions and benefits from being an officer, but then again they probably get a lot more bullsh*t to go along with it and have to deal with others pastoral care and all that carry on.

    I guessing if you’re an officer you would be more of form filler / signing things off and be somewhat unattached from what exactly is going on relying on chief / petty officers for updates on progress on aircraft etc. I could be totally wrong but this is how it kind of works on civvy street with managers in both organisations I have worked for.

    I haven’t been in touch with my AFCO since October / early November when I went for a ship visit on HMS Albion. I asked the careers adviser that took us down to the ship (not the CA that I had previously dealt with) was they any way that I could be fast tracked into the service with my previous experience and qualifications but he said no it didn’t matter what you have done in the past or what qualifications you held

    I have since found out from this site that “fast-track opportunities” actually relates to once you have joined your selected branch in the RN.

    I’ll gave the other guy in the AFCO a call in two weeks, I’m trying to get everything in work sorted out before going skiing next week and I’ll ask him to give me a brief update on my current application. I don’t think he has fully read my application form to be honest because he never asked about any of my previous experiences. It was just a case of well done you got a high score on your aptitude test and go for your selected branch but you’ll have a long wait.

    I don’t really feel the need to keep calling the AFCO because I’m sure he is already get fed up with the same pant wetters calling every week asking the same question.

    In reality it’s crazy that someone can join with no actual qualifications and can wait the same amount of time as a more qualified candidate. Surely by setting a minimum standard of 4 GCSEs (Maths, English, and Science as core subjects) will decrease waiting times and improve on drop outs?

    If Ninja or Super Mario can drop me a message regarding jumping up the waiting list from previous work experience and qualifications before I call in the next couple of week it would be much appreciated. NZ_Bootneck may be giving me false hope lol :-?

    Thanks Guys
  4. Jesus Christ, how do you write so much? :L

    But good effort!
  5. You can't jump the queue regardless of qualifications or experience.
  6. I imagined that would be the case.
  7. Hello there matey!! Top marks for time and effort into the post much better than my intro. To answer your question im not a school leaver but not quite your age, at 21 i have served a 4 year moden apprentiship as a vehicle refinisher (paint sprayer) and now fully skilled and biding my time repairing and painting limousines and any of my mates run arounds they bump. I should imagin i wil be about 23/24 when i get to raleigh. It will come!
  8. To back up what Drakey says, there's no way of shortening your waiting time, it's just a case of remaining motivated and doing everything possible to prepare yourself for enter in the future.

    Best of luck and try not to injure yourself whilst sking or that could make your wait even longer.

  9. You won't get a pay cheque, it's done by BACS.
  10. I was indulging in a bit of banter there.:pirat:
    It was one of the best intros I've read on here.

    By miles ahead in my previous post, I meant in terms of maturity, outlook and experience which could help your chances of promotion, even during Training as Class Leader etc, but not give you a hoist up the waiting list.
    Your premise that those with qualifications should get preferential Recruitment sounds good on paper (Or puter screen), but while displaying the applicants intelligence qualifications are no guarantee that a Recruit will stick with Training or do any better during it than a Recruit who is less qualified.
    Get all the information you can from your AFCO, sit down and write a Pro/Con list for each option then make your decision.
    Good luck
  11. Before they decided to do away with Artificers there was such a thing as a Direct Entry Artificer. These were people with similar backgrounds to Betty, and following a separate new-entry training, they passed out as Petty Officers. With the advent of ETs, it looks like this is no longer an option, however, never say never, as when they realise that there is a problem attracting/retaining/training people with the requisite skills, expect either Direct Entry Technicians to evolve, or Artificers to re-appear (though probably using a different name to allow the heirarchy to deny that they have back-tracked again).
  12. Evening Betty!

    I am sort of in the same position, a little bit older than the average school leaver. I left school going on for 5 years ago after scraping through my A Levels in Sixth Form. I then went on to University and got a BSc (Hons) 2:1 Sports and Health Science with Sports Therapy degree. Since then I've been working in Community Coaching with a fairly decent Football Club, and working part time for a Rugby Club in Sports Rehab. It's a job I love, and enjoy immensely but looking further in to the future, it's a job that has no prospects for promotion, career or personal development. I had previously applied for the Army as a Clinical Physiologist, but decided after working in Sports Rehab I was getting stalled with Anatomy, Physiology and all things human. That's when my interest turned from human, to machine. My first choice is also AET, and with the 3 year wait, I'm looking at Feb 2013 before I get to Raleigh so I'll be 25. I wish in a way I'd gone down the route of Engineering at University, but with my sports background (England U16, 17 and 19 Netball and National Development Trampolining Squad) I was always pushed and pulled towards Sports. Now I'm a year into my waiting time and it can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned!
  13. Hi ellebee

    Sorry for the delayed response. Yes it’s good / reassuring to hear from someone in a similar situation to your own.

    All the best with your application.
  14. Oi!! I'll be turning 27 in May!! you forgot to mention me!!! :cry: ;-P

    I'm embarking on my RN career just before then as ET(ME) :)

    Best of luck & well done on the mega posts!!
  15. I passd my RT in March last year and have just turned 26. Did a brief stint in the TA before deciding on this route. Going for the position of Writer.
  16. I nominate Betty Swallocks for the "longest (un-cut and pasted from wiki) post award"

    Thank god its lunch time!!!
  17. (granny)

    (granny) Book Reviewer

    Isn't it possible to 'fast track' as STC, with those sort of qualifications ?
  18. Only if you have the '1000yd stare' down to a fine art.
  19. And the breath!

    STC does sound like the trade for this guy though, the car park design bit could be useful to the branch.
  20. Good Luck to you too Betty. I was told by my CA the average age of applicants was 24 (this was a year ago now) so I'm sure you won't be the oldest at Raleigh!

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