GMTV want service leavers with axe to grind?

I got this little nugget in my email inbox this morning:

GMTV is currently looking for someone to appear on the programme who has recently left the forces for good, returned to civvy street and is now in the process of looking for a job.

The person we are looking for will have left the forces, no longer than one year ago and will have served for no longer than six years in total. They will have received some form of resettlement training, or perhaps didn’t receive any at all, and are unhappy with the training, or lack of training, they received.

This will be going out on GMTV during the week of 23rd March, but will involve just half a day\'s filming during the weeks of 9th and 16th March with a crew. The crew will come to your area, so no travelling will be involved, but you should be prepared to share your story with us.

If you think you fit the bill for the above and wouldn’t mind appearing on GMTV, then please get in touch either by e-mail – to [email protected]

Many thanks

Sarah Bleakley

GMTV, Producer
Thank You

Now I have an issue with this, judging by the criteria outlined it seems to me that GMTV are looking to deliberately paint a poor impression of our resettlement. This in turn could prove damaging to service leavers.

"served for no longer than six years in total"

Why? Do they simply want someone young or are they after someone who never felt at home in the forces and has an axe to grind? Or are they after someone who is not entitled to the full resettlement package?

"and are unhappy with the training, or lack of training, they received."

And the point in this? Why not have someone who is happy with what they recieved, why not have both for a balanced view?

I'm thinking this is designed to make the transition look poor, difficult, depressing and above all, nigh on impossible. They're going to end up with someone who couldn't be arsed to attend resettlement, didn't make full use of ELC, SLC etc and didn't like serving. This in turn could prove damaging to service leavers, showing a poor example and putting off potential employers who will see servicemen as ill-prepared for civilian employment.

Designed to paint a bleak picture? I think so, I've asked Ms Bleakley these exact questions.
Coincedently I recieved the above email as I finished the first day of my first civvy job, after a truly oustanding resettlement process provided by pusser.
I dont think GMTV would want to hear my version of events though.
Only redarses who didnt have the nous to use the system provided need apply.
brigham600 said:
Looks to me as though they are looking for a very one sided side of events and typical of the media today.
The media always do look for the negative side of things.

Thats why we're breeding a bunch of negatively minded youths through our education system.
I can see it now:

Mr fcukmeknuckle served his country proudly and with distinction for 6 whole years. Despite receiving a very nasty sore back within 6 weeks of joining his first ship, against all odds, fcukmeknuckle bravely continued to serve, dedicating 5 years of his life to Queen and Country on "light duties" as buffers party at HMS Drake, an enormous daily commute, a whole 500 feet from his flat.

"In the end I had to leave, they were trying to upgrade me and make me go to sea and stuff, but that's surely against human rights innit? I've got a bad back, they can't make me."

Despite this sterling service and utter self sacrifice, he was cast aside with no help or resettlement. "They tried to make me attend a Career Transition Workshop" He said. "But that would have meant three days actual attendance and I can't be expected to actually turn up to that can I?"

Shockingly, fcukmeknuckle was also expected to pay UP FRONT for any further Education he wanted. "I know you get 80% back but I only earn 22k a year, there's no way I could write a cheque for a whole £120, I've got a flat, a Subaru Impreza,Pizzas, Burger King, runs ashore every night and a girlfriend from Swilley to support."

Fcukmeknuckle is now unemployed, having lost hiscar, flat and girlfriend he had been with for well over 2 weeks. "The Navy have fcuked me over, after everything I gave to them they let me down. They should have given me a Ba Hons in Particle Physics and got me a job. Instead, they expected me to get off my arrse and do stuff myself !"
I thought that the resettlement courses that I undertook were well run and provided good value for money. Try doing something similar privately and you will pay one hell of a lot more. However I do believe that the range of courses offered is a bit limited and could do with having a wider scope. Plus the amount of resettlement grant doesn't buy much.

The facilities in Aldershot are basic and a little tired and I don't see this improving anytime soon.

If anyone is due to start resettlement, don't settle for Army accommodation in Aldershot, it is considered sub-standard and you are entitled to stay in hotels. Claims for accommodation and food through JPA as per. Check with your resettlement advisor.

If anyone is considering joining the police or prison service I would thoroughly recommend doing the "Potential Police/Prison Officer" courses at Aldershot.
If the e-mail at the start of this thread is genuine, it does appear that GMTV intends presenting a negatively biased programme. I know the Forces Resettlement package isn't perfect but what is? I also wonder if the GMTV researchers have bothered to read the National Audit Office's independent report on the MoD, Leaving the Services dated 24 June 2007 (link). The general findings are very positive and are summarised in its index:


The Department offers a greater range of resettlement services than other employers.
The Armed Forces require a large number of young people to fulfil difficult and demanding roles but cannot offer the majority a career to normal retirement age.
The Department provides a significant resettlement package to facilitate the return to civilian life.
The Department holds sound management information on most aspects of performance and partial cost data on resettlement.

The Department provides good services that assist Service Leavers in obtaining civilian employment but some do not benefit from them.
Most Service Leavers gain satisfactory civilian employment.
Those Service Leavers eligible for the full resettlement package are generally satisfied with it but some aspects could be improved.
Improvements are needed in the provision of first line services, particularly in the Army.
Early Service Leavers receive an inconsistent service.

The Department provides reasonable support to Service Leavers seeking accommodation, but some experience difficulties.
Most Service Leavers find suitable accommodation.
A significant proportion of Service Leavers do not require housing support on leaving the Services.
The Department provides reasonable support to Service Leavers seeking accommodation but could increase awareness of the support available.
A small number of Service Leavers may experience difficulties seeking homelessness assistance on leaving the Services.

The Department provides some briefing on financial awareness.
The briefing focuses predominantly on pensions and financial investment information and does not cover more general issues of financial management.
Some Service Leavers experience problems with debt on leaving the Services.

Most Service Leavers find the wider aspects of returning to civilian life straightforward but some experience greater problems.
Most Service Leavers make a successful transition to civilian life, only experiencing minor problems.
A minority of Service Leavers are more vulnerable to difficulties in making the transition to civilian life.
The charitable sector provides much of the support to veterans
One of the most striking discoveries is that 94% of service leavers seeking employment through the Career Transition Programme (CTP) found work within six months. Obviously, GMTV's six-year cap on service is intended to eliminate those entitled to the full package so there are bound to be some shortfalls among them. In my own experience, most difficulties arise when personnel leave the MoD's umbrella and find themselves at the mercy of civil authorities, both national and local. It shouldn't be left to the charitable veterans' organisations to fill the gap.


War Hero
My re-settlement was ace, I chose to do it in Liverpool because there was no barracks near enough to stay in so I got digs money as well as the grant, so I spent the best part of a month living with a mate and pissing that against a wall. Excellent time.
wet_blobby said:
My re-settlement was ace, I chose to do it in Liverpool because there was no barracks near enough to stay in so I got digs money as well as the grant, so I spent the best part of a month living with a mate and pissing that against a wall. Excellent time.
Thats what resettlement is all about Blobbs :p


Lantern Swinger
Whilst I can't speak for PMTV and its news agenda, I can speak from my own experiences at the Pompey News.

We used to do something called the Monday Investigation. The editor or newsdesk would pick some unsuspecting reporter to investigate a burning issue of the day in Pompey. Mercifully I did perhaps no more than 2-3 in all my time there.

The newsdesk would say: "This week we want you to investigate XXXX. And this is what you'll find..." It would all be trumpeted in print with "The News can exclusively reveal..."

Personally, I prefer to investigate first rather than come up with the conclusions and back them up with 'findings'...

Newsdesks often have an idée fixe and just won't let it drop, even if it flies in the face of all the evidence. The old editor at the News was convinced that all the crew of two Chinese ships would defect en masse when they visited Pompey six or seven years ago. Oddly, they didn't...

And then there was the case of Lusty's CO's car. Newsdesk thought it was scandalous that the CO enjoyed such a freebie and someone expressing their outrage had to be found. The paper managed to piss off the flagship for an entire year with that one...

And lastly, bullying. The military is full of bullying. All it does all day long is bully people. Especially minorities - ethnic minorities, homosexuals, gingers. Or so the media think. Spend a month at a newspaper and watch some real bullying. I've seen reporters cowering under desks after verbal lashings and one colleague was given a dressing down in front of the entire newsroom. But you won't read any of that in your daily paper...

So the PMTV note really doesn't surprise and is just the tip of the iceberg of how 'Fleet Street' work.

All I can say is that it's a good job science doesn't work like this, otherwise we'd all be living in caves still...


War Hero
Asst_Ed said:
What Asst_Ed said ...
Good point, well made. Trouble is, the Navy believes the hype it reads. We are so much now aligned that bullying is endemic, that we have diluted the central pillar of discipline - and that is 'Robust Leadership and Management'. Sure thing, people like 2SL have best interests at heart with the 'grit' and 'moral standards' schtick, but we must stop buying into the principle that being firm, charismatic and above all else fair, is wholly wrong. Our juniors must respect our seniors. They must fear sanction and strive to avoid the censure of their betters. It's the way that our system has worked and for four hundred years we have been kicking the arse of everyone without reversal. If it aint bust, don't fix it.

Bullying is wrong, and I don't think anyone can mitigate vindictive, sadistic and downright nasty behaviour for the sake of it against individuals. But that cannot dilute our ability to create tomorrow's servicemen for the sake of subscribing to statistics and quotas. Taking away personnel's individual rights to be themselves is as criminal as the first act of bullying in itself. I think we need to draw stumps now and stop destroying the framework.

My resettlement was excellent - did it in Pompey - learned a load of tricks that I hadn't a scooby about before and am now well settled in a very good, reasonably well paid job with a real future.

I might have got here on my own but I doubt it - it wasn't just what was done on the course, it was the contacts and hand-holding that went with it as well.

GMTV - get a life!
I recieved a short reply to my concerns today, it reads:


Thankyou for your Email.

You will be pleased to know that we have revised the subject areas we will be concentrating on for our special on LIFE AFTER SERVICE, and will no longer be focusing on resettlement for those who have served six yeasr or less.

Many thanks,
Sarah Bleakley.

I've asked her exactly what the new criteria is and whether they now want to seek a balanced perspective, the above email just seems to me like they simply couldn't find anyone.
I could have given them my view of the retired 3 ringer in the local AFRB who said I would need to retrain as a Storekeeper in Yorkshire for a period of a few weeks - my trade in the mob ? ........ Jack Dusty !! 8O

But I left many moons ago, so maybe I don't count as 'young' anymore :(
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