Changes to RFA recruitment for new ratings

Discussion in 'RFA' started by The old scopie, Nov 15, 2014.

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  1. Don't know if any of you have heard that the "higher ups" in MOD are going to bring in apprenticeships for new ratings, ie anyone who doesn't have the required MCA tickets. They are going to drop the basic pay by £3k and its going to be a 2 year apprenticeship but, there is no guarantee of a contract at the end of it.

    I'm hoping to join the RFA as its something that appeals to me as an ex serviceman, I'm an ex crab, but this change doesn't make it appealing as at 52 I need a bit more security. I know I'm the right age to join and would love the life but these cost saving initiatives by the idiots in the MOD make things difficult. I spoke to RFA recruiting and their are not happy with this change either. I am going to raise this issue with my local MP, Madeline Moon as she is on the Defence Committee it might be worth something

    This is my first post on here so be gentle, but I'm keen to here what you all think of this
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    I have every sympathy.

    Sadly whenever the MOD impliments change it is not to the advantage of the service or the individual, it's pretty much always directly related to reducing costs.
  3. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    The first apprentices have been "recruited" recently. They didn't apply for it, they just got offered the option after not making it onto the final trainee rating courses.

    Just the thoughts of a blonde ex-wren. Don't blame me if it all goes tits up.
  4. Hud

    Hud Midshipman

    I'm on the reserve list for SG2 in Jan with an offer of the apprenticeship in April. TBH I was just happy being offered a place after being told they only wanted 12 people for January. Obviously I would prefer to go in January under the old system but it is what it is. I'm single with no kids so I can manage it. I can see how it will have an adverse effect on the RFA's recruitment pool in the long term. A lot of older guys and gals with mortgages and family commitments will not be able to commit to the pay reduction and loss of leave entitlement and so the RFA could potentially lose out on a lot of dynamic, highly skilled, worldly wise and motivated people and not have as diverse a work force as it currently does.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  5. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    As far as I can tell, this change merely brings Ratings under Training in line with Officers (Cadets) under Training. In the old days, Deck Cadets were called 'apprentices'-because they were/are.

    I seem to recall saying this already so perhaps there is a thread about it.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Yes seadog I understand what you are saying but I feel that they are not making a saving in the long term as the money the RFA will spend on training, kit and courses will not be recouped if the apprentices are "released" after 2 years.
  7. Cheers Ninja_Stoker for your comments, you understand how gutted I feel about this move.
  8. Hi Hud, I wish you luck with your application and I hope you make it under the old system. Who knows if I manage to get it as well we will have to have a couple of jars to discuss the situation. Obviously you'll be buying as I'll just be a poorly paid apprentice :)
  9. Cheers exJenny, they didn't mention that when I spoke to RFA recruitment the other day.
  10. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    They won't have filled all the positions for April from those that were interviewed in the last recruitment drive.

    Just the thoughts of a blonde ex-wren. Don't blame me if it all goes tits up.
  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Apprentices in all trades are paid for what they know and what they can do unsupervised. Not much.
  12. I'd imagine there would be little chance of not being offered employment after an apprenticeship as the RFA wouldn't gain much otherwise. Other apprenticeships differ by the fact they're government funded for the most part and employers benefit by giving apprentices experience and skills in return for cheap labour. I think saying that there's no guarantee of being employed after the apprenticeship is run of the mill.
  13. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    RFA apprenticeships are 'Government funded', the MOD being a Department of State 'n all. Done properly, apprenticeships are not cheap labour. Apprenticeships are free learning experiences, with pay, leading to a job*, with the training provider or a similar outfit. With the latter, some personal effort may be required. Or they could go to university, pay for it and get an evening or weekend bar job to provide income.
  14. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    * unless the apprentice develops form as a cock in which case he or she is easier to bin than under the old system.

    It's not all about 'you'.
  15. Whatever they are the crux is that people with financial commitments will be deterred from joining, even though they may have a wealth of useful skills etc. They will still meet recruiting targets anyway so oh well.
  16. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    How fortunate that the RFA will still train people to do the job even if they are on a lower salary and have less leave.

    Just the thoughts of a blonde ex-wren. Don't blame me if it all goes tits up.
  17. It was sarcy.
  18. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Albeit RN rather than RFA recruiting experience over the last decade, one thing I've noticed is that the majority of individuals over age 25 cannot afford to join on the new entry rate of pay due to existing family & financial commitments. Arguably, reducing the wage of "untrained" entrants is in itself age discriminatory.

    The Armed Forces are age discrimination exempt, when it suits, but fail to recognise the "off the shelf" life skills and established work ethic an older joiner brings in relation to a 16/18 year old school leaver who will need much closer supervision & mentoring initially.

    I was a civilian apprentice prior to joining and the skills learnt benefitted the service when I joined, albeit not recognised. Very often implimented changes apply only to those yet to join, but I have categorically no doubt this measure will very much strangle RFA recruiting targets from those who cannot afford to take a job that pays below the minimum living wage.
  19. Yes not every apprenticeship is like I mentioned in my last post, some are excellent deals for all parties included.

    My current employer was known for taking on a shed load of apprentices rarther than hiring proper labour. They offered the apprentices very little in way of learning and the government paid the most part of their wages. My point was that, unlike my current employer, the RFA have nothing to gain from training apprentices and not offering them employment afterwards.

    It goes without saying that the change in recruitment will be a deterrent to some people but lets face it; a trainee roll starting on £20k with three months leave at a time always was a bit too good to stay that way.
  20. Hud

    Hud Midshipman

    That's the way I look at it. The new pay is more in line with what officer cadets are paid and for a trainee role it is still a pretty good deal. If I knew back in June when I got my application form in that these were the terms and conditions, I would still have applied and been happy to accept them. Once the dust has settled people probably won't bad an eyelid over the new structure, it will become the norm.
    As I said in my last post and since explained excellently by ninja_stoker, the downside is that potentially it will deter people with financial or family commitments who would otherwise have brought a lot of experience to the RFA.
    Regarding the no confirmed offer of work, as Seadog said, I just view that as giving the RFA an escape clause to weed out anybody that isn't fit for purpose. Also, with 3 ships coming off line and the 4 Tide Class being introduced over the next few years, it would seem to me that now is actually a pretty healthy time to be joining the RFA?
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2014

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