Engineering training

Discussion in 'RFA' started by Dannybongo19, Nov 14, 2015.

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  1. Hi all,

    So as someone who is currently serving an apprenticeship (mechanical engineering), I'm curious to see what you actually learn practically and theoretically during training. As an apprentice, I've learnt fitting, some
    Manual turning and milling, CNC and CAD work, but there's a lot of stuff I haven't leant, welding, electronics, etc.....

    Can some fellow engineers give me some insight into the what stuff you'll actually learn?


  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Initially you'll be taught engineering principles, safety, electro-tech theory, progressing onto how the electrical and mechanical components within your specialisation actually work, their function, control, back-up & support systems.

    The workshop/bench-fitting aspect of your particular branch is incrementally introduced depending on your particular role.

    I joined as a time-served civilian quality control toolmaker, fully versed in bench-fitting, sheet metal fabrication, welding and machining (turning, milling, shaping, spark erosion, drilling, universal grinding etc), but no prior experience is expected or necessary. You are taught what is needed whilst you work in an operational environment.

    There are individual specialist courses, as required, which include welding & machining but what you have to appreciate is your average warship/RFA has limited workshop facilities - a bench, vice, lathe & welding sets are about as much as you need although there are repair ships with tip-top Machine workshops , but most are shoreside for the more involved engineering practices.

    On a warship/RFA vessel, mechanical repairs tend to be repair by replacement or make do & temporarily mend whilst at sea in an operational role. In-depth electro-mechanical repairs tend to be pre-planned with base assistance whilst the ship is alongside.

    Gone are the days of casting a new crankshaft and machining it to fit - we just buy a new one from the manufacturer.
  3. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Unblocking traps is a vital role for greasers.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It maybe shit to you, it's bread & butter to me ;)
  5. Suppose so it's considering what lady sailors dispose of down them.
  6. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    Obviously our rose scented offerings must alway be the culprit.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Cheers for the in depth information ninja, I only ask as I'm interested in learning many different skills that modern day apprentices just don't get the exposure to. My dads a timed served machinist from G&C turbines and his training compared to mine was so much better, sounds like the RN / RFA is one of the few places to actually learn some proper engineering these days!
  8. I think the days of intensive training in this throw away age has gone even in the services.
    No need to train to component level when todays technicians in many cases are not even allowed to change a circuit board.
    That's progress.
    • Bullshit Bullshit x 1
  9. No it's their Rose Coloured offerings that are the problem.....
    • Like Like x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. exJenny

    exJenny War Hero Moderator Book Reviewer

    I must be grateful for ensuite facilities and not having to share with bints who fail to comprehend the importance of the correct disposal of jam rags.
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It is indeed all to do with progress and increased efficiency.

    We (RN/RFA) no longer have to train to repair to intricate component level, which saves a lot of time, money & unnecessary effort.

    Nowadays it is particularly important when the RFA only have one person to fix something rapidly whereas before it could involve two, three or four individually deep-trained subject matter experts, with narrow employability margins, to get something back online because of its complexity.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Though your branch training was only 10 weeks you then compounded the knowledge gained by on the job continuation training on a ship. A year after joining you became an Able rate or MEM1, if you had completed your task book.
    However the in depth training (if GS was anything like FAA) was when you completed Leading Rates course. This followed by petty officers course led to a very well trained senior rate, we were always trained to a level far above what was required. My three branch training courses were. JR 14 Weeks, LH 18 Weeks, PO 14 Weeks. This comes to 42 weeks of Classroom and workshop training.
    What is the total now?
    I realise that we no longer have POMEMs & PORELs, they have been replaced by POETs, these would have been the Mechanicians of old who ALL did a two year course to qualify.
    You are correct that the RN no longer needs such highly skilled individuals, however I do believe that the RN, army and R.A.F. gave civie employers the best technicians they could recruit

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