Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by janner, Jul 30, 2007.

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  1. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    We keep reading that the Services are short of manpower (or personpower to the more PC among you). If this is the case why is it taking so long from application to enlistment?

    Are a number of potential recruits put off by the delays? Or do they drop out of the system during the waiting period?

    Is the time scale the same for all three Services?
  2. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    The waiting time is governed by the amount of phase two courses funded by the MOD versus the amount of successful applicants waiting to join & the service requirement for personnel in that particular trade.

    The waiting times vary from as little as two months to as much as 20 months. (Medical Assistants being the longest wait as we speak).

    Undoubtedly we lose applicants because of a long wait, but as with all things it's a question of funding. People are asked to consider trades with shorter waiting times, but there is no point joining to do a job which you would not enjoy as the individual will then submit PVR & leave anyway. You cannot join in one trade to get in early & transfer as that would simply be jumping the queue.

    The RAF "open" & "close" trades to recruiting, but seem to be on a drive at present. The Army, like the Navy are similar to ourselves in that the more sought after trades generally, though not always, take longer.

    An exception to the rule is that some of the more sought after trades simply do not have sufficient people passing the enterance test & sometimes courses are cancelled as there are insufficient successful applicants.
  3. Put simply, capacity. In the past some branches might end up with holdover requirements there is a trend away from that now with cohorts going through the process from entry to Raleigh to first draft with as little dead time as possible.

    There are a couple of reasons for that, the first being straight financial. It costs money to have trainees hanging about waiting for courses.

    the second is an outcome of the training reviews which were informed by the Deepcut inquiry. One of the issues at Deepcut amongst some segments of the population most at risk of self harm, violence, bullying etc was boredom in between courses. Trainees weren't adequatly skilled to acually give substantive job to so ended up filling time manning guardrooms and doing a fair bit of trivia. By reducing surplus time in the training pipeline there is less risk. That also impacts on retention.

    I don't imagine any particular route is best as such, they just have different impacts on pull-through to the trained strength, loss rate etc.
  4. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    In addition to the above there is also a noticeable change in perception with regard waiting times, the age of the applicant & the subsequent impact a long wait has.

    I've actually come across someone who passed phase 1 training, but had to wait two weeks for phase 2 training to start. Believe it or not the individual opted to PVR as they "couldn't be bothered waiting". Spookily, 4 weeks later they applied to re-join. You can guess the rest.

    Generally the younger the applicant is, the more likely we are to lose them if they're faced with a wait. Whereas a "20+" year-old tends to be more willing to wait a few months, a 16 year old tends to view 12 months as a "lifetime". The Royal Navy Acquaint Course (RNAC) is often used as a tool to keep long-term applicants interested.

    The other way of looking at it, is considering it a guage of motivation to join. We don't particularly seek to recruit people who give up easily, so natural wastage is evolutions' way of filtering those that would've quite possible submitted PVR anyway.
  5. On the subject of waiting I'd like to hijack this thread for a moment to ask my own question. This time last week the AFCO recieved my PJFT letter confirming I had completed the test. I assume they started bidding for me right away but I still haven't heard from them. Should I just wait and hold on (which is terribly annoying) or shall I give them a ring tommorow?
  6. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    I was thinking more of the wastage of people who would be suitable in all respects, who would find the RN a good career choice, but because of the wait find something that equally suits them, so they stick at that.
    Are we so short of facilities that we couldn't work in an extra recruitment now and again to keep these times down?
  7. As I said above, there is no best answer, there are just alternatives.

    That said, I've no idea how the various loss and throughput rates compare.

    Classic swings/ roundabouts situation.
  8. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Depending on the waiting time for your particular trade, they usually allocate joining dates 1 term ahead. Bearing in mind that August is the main leave period across the fleet (Opsec: Top tip for any hostile countries considering invading Britain by sea) it is possible that you may not hear of anything for a month or so.

    Your AFCO/ Careers Adviser receives an alert on computer immediately you get allocated a provision joining date & would usually ring you the same day to let you know & also send an "Offer of Service" letter.

    There's no reason why you should not ring your AFCO to check for any news - that is what they are there for, so never be reluctant to get in touch. It's also worth checking they have your correct contact details as many people get new mobiles & neglect to inform the AFCO of the new number.
  9. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    So how often do they take a new entry group, are they mixed trades or all the same.

    Trying to remember when I started in 1960 (I look a lot younger than I am and have hardly matured at all). Its a bit hazy now but I was thinking that a group of trainee communicators joined up at Collingwood and stayed there for a week, getting kitted out, marking kit and doing some basic stuff like drill.

    We then went to Mercury and split into two classes, Sparkers and Buntings,basic for Communicators was I believe 9 months training then off to your first sea draft. I think there would have been about 25 in each class.

    On the job training they called it, my first draft was the old WW2 Hunt class HMS Brocklesby at Portland, sparker wise we carried an acting POTEL and two RO2's, being an under training Junior sparker it was two weeks before I was left to my own devices in the W/T Office working one in three with the two RO2's.

    As far as the basic training in those days, is my memory correct, if not put me right
  10. (I look a lot younger than I am and have hardly matured at all).

    OOOOOOOOOOO Janner post a piccie, let us be the judge :w00t:
  11. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator


    Is that you?

    Knock twice for "Yes", once for "No".
  12. To be honest, I think the waiting times are great.

    For a lot of the younger generation anyway.

    I'll bet atleast 40% of people who seek a career in the forces are young and believe its what they want to do.. But as we well know, youths today are indecisive. I know I was! Going through the stages is strenous and is almost enough to put off 'unsure' recruits. The waiting game gives recruits a real opportunity to see whether they really want to do this for a huge period, if not all of their working life.

    On the other hand, when you are sure and you still have to wait, it does become a little tedious. Although it adds to the excitement, well, it does in my case anyway!
  13. as a slight aside it appears that the average running time from civi to passing out of Raliegh as an RNR matlot is now approximately 12months (including time spent with the AFCO). We do things slightly differently from the rn.....they choose the branch/specialisation as they progress through the new entry process, it gives them the time to see what they'd like to do and for the new entry staff to assess them as well and prehaps a little steering :thumright:
  14. I think the wait is a useful aid as it does test peoples willingness to join. I've got my next OCLO interview after Christmas and I'm more than happy to wait as it gives me plenty of time to continue working on my fitness and my service knowledge. I think the waiting time is down to the individual, you'll always get people who give up easily. The wait makes an excellent filter, that said I've been told that the branch I've applied for only has an April entry date. Which seems a bit daft .
  15. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer


    I'll give you a clue Hig, I'm not a Bootie or a Sky Pilot, and have my hair cut like that and coloured so I look old enough to be married to my Missus
  16. I think the possible 'waiting' time for joining could be a drawback.
    I suppose for the ones willing to wait and are supported by their parents or have money or a job to fall back on it Ok .

    However I have a grandson -- school leaver wanted to join the Army
    however with the boredom and unknown future was desperate to start
    in life quickly . He's now an apprentice mechanic.

    Young adults usually keep interested if they have a definate programme and also there is a job/work position available .As for Dunjamon and the
    next interview in six months [after christmas !] I would suggest the RN pays him a retainer amount . Interviews aren't positive job offers either.

    Hope Dunjamon gets in or he has alternatives if unsuccessful.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  17. I most certainly have an alternative, I've been working in Computer Security for a while. There's plenty of working knocking around as it's one of the few jobs they can't offshore. So I'm always quite lucky in finding work, a retainer would be nice though:)

    **edited as I spelt job wrong - need coffee to function at this time**

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