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RN manpower crisis - what can the RNR do?

Purple_twiglet

War Hero
Moderator
Yeah let's make our few shore drafts 7 days a week. That'll increase morale and retention.

Given how often the 'paid 7 days per week' line is used, I dont think its unreasonaBle to ask the RN to turn to on weekends occasionally. Thats what the RNR do when combining real world and rnr roles.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Well, for a start, you open the damn training establishments at the weekends. This has finally been recognised by timetabling RNR only Sea Survival Courses at the weekends. However Raleigh, Collingwood, and so forth need to follow suit.
I am board to tears with SR instructors, who don't work weekends, then telling me how ill-trained the reservists are.

The problem with that is a) civilian training support contracts b) funds and c) Uniformed staff being thrashed Mon-Fri as it is.

7 day weeks are likely to be hugely poplar and retention positive (not); there aren't enough SR to create additional posts and there isn't funding nor liability for added fat in the system to create a shift pool.

Now, we have 3000+ reserves, why don't we train some of these to be weekend instructors, won't be quick but it will be a lasting solution.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Just change their working hours. It's easily done. Employment law is mostly in favour of the employer and the employers 'needs.

So, we change a largely 8-5 contract, for a person who is on a fairly meagre salary, to now cover say 2 weekends a month with no additional benefits. How long until we're unable to source civilian instructors?
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Given how often the 'paid 7 days per week' line is used, I dont think its unreasonaBle to ask the RN to turn to on weekends occasionally. Thats what the RNR do when combining real world and rnr roles.

SR in these establishments will cover weekends already for various duties. Occasional weekends won't suffice to put proper training in place to get the MR working as it should, it would have to be regular. Given that the training establishments are already maxed out with Ph1/2 training as it is, where do these people get the spare capacity from?

Squeezing more out, whilst in shore/harmony billets, will most likely mean retention will drop.
 

CmdKeen

Lantern Swinger
Oddly enough almost every course taught by regulars I've ever been on has featured them saying they rather like training reservists. Whilst that might just be instructors blowing smoke I doubt it - jack loves to drip after all. Having motivated personnel, all of whom want to be there for that specific course, with almost no discipline issues tends to be what instructors want - along with no issues about people disappearing to fit in medical and dental appointments.

A lot of the issues seem to be down to people writing contracts that forget the reserves exist and so preventing or making it prohibitive to do weekend training. Plus little things like messes that conceive of someone wanting breakfast on a Sunday for instance.

There's also the opportunity for a bit of nous to be applied - we're trying to recruit loads of experienced regulars into the Reserves via Firefly. Courses can be compressed and mix resources - the new RNR DO's course is a good example of that: Sat to Fri PM so only "1 week" to a reservist mindset meaning many will still go and do another week or two of training, it reuses a lot of regular DO instructors during the week, and the assigned trainer doesn't spend all his time doing RNR training so the RN benefits too. Oh - and asking employees if any of them might not mind working the odd Sat or Sun in return for a make and mend, you never know in this modern world the weekend might not actually be that sacrosanct for other halves.

There's also the spangling online learning thing - the one that tracks who does what and what they've learned sufficiently well that we authorise pay off the back of it. There's definitely scope to throw that into the mix to deliver some training. Even if just for "complete the following X courses" over the weekend between/before when the instructors are in Mon-Fri.

Everything has ISpec's these days, the question should be "what do the reservists need to cover, is there any specific to them they need adding, and what is the most efficient and practicable way to deliver that?". I seem to recall we have training specialists, one or two of whom have even become reservists, perhaps we should use them to try and be innovative.
 

Branch-Hopper

War Hero
A lot of the issues seem to be down to people writing contracts that forget the reserves exist and so preventing or making it prohibitive to do weekend training. Plus little things like messes that conceive of someone wanting breakfast on a Sunday for instance.

Overheard from an incident last year, weekend at Collingwood. Précis of conversation...

Unit Officer " Please can you leave out a few parallel rulers, so that we can do chart work training"
Collingwood Instr: " I leave at 0930 on Friday, can you be here to sign for them?"
UO: " Er, no we are RNR, we wont be there until late on the Friday. Can you leave them somewhere we could sign for them - maybe Wardroom HP?"
CI: "No"

Then you ask why we are under trained.

So, we change a largely 8-5 contract, for a person who is on a fairly meagre salary, to now cover say 2 weekends a month with no additional benefits. How long until we're unable to source civilian instructors?

I don't think it needs as much as that. Even one weekend a month would help. Let's take ( just for conversation) a CIS RNR Course. I have no idea, but I assume my colleagues in CIS are pretty wept up. However how much better would things be if, say just on the Sat AM, a current CIS CPO (RN) gave a lecture on what's new in the fleet. Stuff that an CIS CPO (RNR) simply could not know, regardless on how dedicated he/she might be?

Half a Sat delivers up-to-date knowledge to 20/30 RNR at a drop of a hat. CPO (RN) gets a early shot some other time in lieu.

Is it THAT HARD?
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
I have no idea, but I assume my colleagues in CIS are pretty wept up.

For what they might do in civilian life yes, usually not at all for what the RN needs.

And before I attract the ire and wrath of disgruntled CIS...we need people skilled across a range of systems and capabilities. Because we're altering branch structures (WE and CIS) the right regular training isn't even in place and getting on the courses we do have is hard.

However how much better would things be if, say just on the Sat AM, a current CIS CPO (RN) gave a lecture on what's new in the fleet. Stuff that an CIS CPO (RNR) simply could not know, regardless on how dedicated he/she might be?

Half a Sat delivers up-to-date knowledge to 20/30 RNR at a drop of a hat. CPO (RN) gets a early shot some other time in lieu.

Is it THAT HARD?

Without wishing to be rude that's pretty naive unless we're talking about some TTP or SOP.

When Reserves come aboard they lack the systems specific to platforms many of which are MTE and even ships company are just getting up to speed. A half or even full day wouldn't cut the mustard with Jackdaw, LC2, BICES, NSOIT (x) etc.

And let's not forget this is the Reserve, so we'll deliver to those who turn up and redo it for mismusters later then again to sweep them all up. Having sat in these classes myself seeing the same lecture n times because we never had consistency in turnout.....
 

Branch-Hopper

War Hero
As I say, it was for conversation, not specific.

What I do get from that is that the RN:
a) Have trouble delivering a SQEP "ships company are just getting up to speed"
and
b) That repetition in delivery is required "seeing the same lecture n times".

If what I am suggesting is not deliverable, perhaps suggestions at to what is deliverable needs addressing. A stated up thread CMR needs to be told by 1SL what the RNR is required to deliver. However if the schools are not brought in line then 1SL might as well ask for 3000 astronauts.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
There's also the spangling online learning thing - the one that tracks who does what and what they've learned sufficiently well that we authorise pay off the back of it. There's definitely scope to throw that into the mix to deliver some training. Even if just for "complete the following X courses" over the weekend between/before when the instructors are in Mon-Fri.

Everything has ISpec's these days, the question should be "what do the reservists need to cover, is there any specific to them they need adding, and what is the most efficient and practicable way to deliver that?". I seem to recall we have training specialists, one or two of whom have even become reservists, perhaps we should use them to try and be innovative.

I delivered the first CBT capability to the MR in the late 90s and was astonished how much apathy there was over it.

I get that some people thought the RTC and instructor led sessions should be the mainstay of Reserve training but even then that was the wrong mentality.

CBT if used well is good, the downside is the cost. Perhaps this is where CMR needs to look and drive investment?

I equally don't believe RTCs are the be and end all. I'd like to see regular establishments become lead Reserve centres, delivering core output but using MR at weekends and over leave periods, enhancing output, upskilling the MR and better integrating them.

It won't work in all areas and clearly it will be geographically challenging but for CIS and INT in the first instance I think its a solid concept.
 
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wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
A stated up thread CMR needs to be told by 1SL what the RNR is required to deliver. However if the schools are not brought in line then 1SL might as well ask for 3000 astronauts.

This is where the Statement of Requirement for each branch comes into play. It should define what each branch exists to do, how it will achieve this, training and numbers required.

Drafted by the branch OF5/SO1 they should be endorsed by the RN functional employer, or more correctly the FE should be engaged during it's development to ensure it's going to deliver what the RN needs and not simply used to protect numbers because "we've always done it this way".
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
As I say, it was for conversation, not specific.

b) That repetition in delivery is required "seeing the same lecture n times".
.

I was a MR, I was referring to my experience. As opposed to repetition it's flexibility and an ability to move ahead and backwards at the same time.
 
But what are doing all this regular training to reserves for? I have AB2 and ET2 coming out of my ears; it's POs and senior LH in short of. And with the best will in the world, you're not going to fit 6+ months of PJTs into a couple of weekends.

I am firmly of the opinion that quite a lot of the RNR does a good job, it's just that job isn't to replace a regular on a Pusser's grey.
 

Sparkplug

Lantern Swinger
Well I did start the thread to make people think and talk...

We need to think differently with respect to both training and employment. The example I gave of a (CIS) Junior Rate being requested by a Minehunter for a month, or the people who went aboard Protector did not involve the full package of PJT needed for a proper sea draft, and did not replace their regular counterparts as such.

The idea that a Reservist could do a regular's job under any conditions is clearly absured, but that should not stop part timers contributing to the Whole Force.
 
Well I did start the thread to make people think and talk...

We need to think differently with respect to both training and employment. The example I gave of a (CIS) Junior Rate being requested by a Minehunter for a month, or the people who went aboard Protector did not involve the full package of PJT needed for a proper sea draft, and did not replace their regular counterparts as such.

The idea that a Reservist could do a regular's job under any conditions is clearly absured, but that should not stop part timers contributing to the Whole Force.

And I'll say again - I'm bursting at the seams with partially trained personnel. I don't need any more, I don't have bunks for any more. And if I did, then surely the priority should be those who become fully trained, and can eventually become a replacement for someone?

My wife was a reservist, so I get their ethos and attitude, and it's a great thing to have, but rarely do I need it in a front line unit.
 
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