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RN manpower crisis - what can the RNR do?

Yes. Welcome to civvie street.

hang on; I thought civvie street was the land of milk and honey where you were never duty, you only worked 12 hours a week, got paid more than a scale A WO1 and you could be adrift by 4 hours and no-one notice.

You mean people actually may have it worse than the Pusser?
 

babygravy

Lantern Swinger
Many instructors at shore establishments are ex-service anyway, so Flagship (or whatever company runs it now) offer them a crap wage, knowing they have their Pusser's pension to boost up their income. They accept as they don't want a job outside their comfort zone.
 
Many instructors at shore establishments are ex-service anyway, so Flagship (or whatever company runs it now) offer them a crap wage, knowing they have their Pusser's pension to boost up their income. They accept as they don't want a job outside their comfort zone.

My bold: Babcock

As for the instructors, Phase 1 and 2 (at Raleigh at least) are RN instructors at the LH / PO level mainly.
The only time I had others, I had were a civvy ex RSIGS WO1 for the NVQ part of my LSCQC and a FTRS RNR POSC and a RFA POSA for my Dangerous Goods Consignors course who were teaching a mixed class of other civvies from across defence, RM, RFA and RN.

The only real civilian instructors I've seen there are up at the fire fighting and DC school.


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Last edited:

dapperdunn

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Indeed, then copy the rest of the post which explains why it's not a good idea in this context.
Ok.
How long until we're unable to source civilian instructors?
Not long at all. It's called the job market. There will be plenty of RN just about to leave the mob, who will happily jump into those jobs. Lots of people outside the mob have to work weekends. It's not the be all and end all of everything.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Ok.
How long until we're unable to source civilian instructors?
Not long at all. It's called the job market. There will be plenty of RN just about to leave the mob, who will happily jump into those jobs. Lots of people outside the mob have to work weekends. It's not the be all and end all of everything.

Experience from DCCIS/Flagship suggests otherwise and you have the challenge of maintaining output Mon-Fri and covering weekends. We're simply not funded for that.

Add to this the challenge of recruiting, and at my unit right now this is my number one issue. You can't recruit CS (at all) and you can't bring in contractors unless they deliver a defined technical service which is a nightmare path to tread with the unions.
 

Branch-Hopper

War Hero
Experience from DCCIS/Flagship suggests otherwise and you have the challenge of maintaining output Mon-Fri and covering weekends. We're simply not funded for that.
Exactly, so the SO1/2 specking the contract is failing in his/her task, because the schools are not open at weekends.

@wave_dodger , I am not being rude, but - having explained to us what is not possible - what is your solution? AFG tells us that his floaty thing is full of Phase 2 sailors, so this is not just an RNR issue. I accept that the RNR are not here to fill highly technical billets, and turning up on HMS Floaty to do so is simply not in the realm of the possible. I do know, however, an RNR who has just been mobilised for a ship billet, long-term.

To tackle the title of the thread - what can the RNR do? - the answer seems to be nowt - because we are told what is not possible instead of bucking down and finding solutions. Give useful, concentrated training and we'll help solve the manpower issue.
 
Exactly, so the SO1/2 specking the contract is failing in his/her task, because the schools are not open at weekends.

@wave_dodger , I am not being rude, but - having explained to us what is not possible - what is your solution? AFG tells us that his floaty thing is full of Phase 2 sailors, so this is not just an RNR issue. I accept that the RNR are not here to fill highly technical billets, and turning up on HMS Floaty to do so is simply not in the realm of the possible. I do know, however, an RNR who has just been mobilised for a ship billet, long-term.

To tackle the title of the thread - what can the RNR do? - the answer seems to be nowt - because we are told what is not possible instead of bucking down and finding solutions. Give useful, concentrated training and we'll help solve the manpower issue.

I'll keep on saying until I'm blue in the face: the RNR's place is not at sea (unless as part of a Battle Staff). Do Medical, MTO, Int, some bits of FP etc and the SM/AW support stuff. Don't try and be part-time, shit, AWTs or ET(ME)s.
 

Branch-Hopper

War Hero
I'll keep on saying until I'm blue in the face: the RNR's place is not at sea (unless as part of a Battle Staff). Do Medical, MTO, Int, some bits of FP etc and the SM/AW support stuff. Don't try and be part-time, shit, AWTs or ET(ME)s.
We agree on that, honest.
But what is the solution?
Or should we just be scrapped?
 

ElQuesoGrande

Lantern Swinger
Exactly that.

The RNR should stick to providing niche capability. It shouldn't really be seagoing, except as part of an afloat battlestaff etc.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
Exactly, so the SO1/2 specking the contract is failing in his/her task, because the schools are not open at weekends.

@wave_dodger , I am not being rude, but - having explained to us what is not possible - what is your solution? AFG tells us that his floaty thing is full of Phase 2 sailors, so this is not just an RNR issue. I accept that the RNR are not here to fill highly technical billets, and turning up on HMS Floaty to do so is simply not in the realm of the possible. I do know, however, an RNR who has just been mobilised for a ship billet, long-term.

To tackle the title of the thread - what can the RNR do? - the answer seems to be nowt - because we are told what is not possible instead of bucking down and finding solutions. Give useful, concentrated training and we'll help solve the manpower issue.

Equally I'm not being rude, it's not some SO1/SO2 "speccing a contract", I'm talking about a structurally underfunded Naval Service, not having the financial ability to do everything it might want, or need, to do. I accept this may have bypassed most Reserves or even Sailors, but we're absolutely strapped for both money and people.

The answer lies with the RN recognising that Reserves aren't magic bullets except in some very small niche areas where we will attract small but useful numbers (Cyber/IA, Medics), then getting Functional Employers (regular) to work with the Branch OF5/SO1 to define what is really needed from the MR and the numbers (never helped when the magic 5:1 is thrown into the mix by the MR everytime...), but we really need to concentrate on what you can expect to get from people who cannot always get regular training, might not have the time for extensive PJTs and who will take a very long time to develop.

You may know the cases where people do go to sea, from 3000+ reserves what proportion do they make up?

In part I think ATG is probably right, focus on niche capabilities with Regular MR; develop cadres of ex Regular MR who perhaps could augment sea going personnel (as ATG points out Battle Staffs, or Engineer ESG roles);

But, I don't believe in any way the MR holds any real part in solving "the Navies manpower crisis", that is a much larger issue. Use of MR may provide some partial mitigation but there are some deeper issues to tackle, with how we recruit, train and employ people who fundamentally have different expectations from those who joined 20-30 years ago.
 

ElQuesoGrande

Lantern Swinger
Exactly- as ATG points out, the RN is suffering a manpower crisis, but it's not at the bottom, 'raw' end; its in the middle management area. And with all the will in the world, the RNR are never going to be able to help solve that.

Part-trained 'gash hands', akin to the old 'Short Engagement Seaman' aren't really what's required. We've enough regulars to do DHP and Bosuns Mate. And that's about the best the RNR could provide.
 
Use of MR may provide some partial mitigation but there are some deeper issues to tackle, with how we recruit, train and employ people who fundamentally have different expectations from those who joined 20-30 years ago.

I feel this was recently highlighted to me a couple of weeks ago quite well, when my WO joined as an AB (or what ever they were back then), the military offered something much better than outside, it was a career for life and the lifestyles people had matched it well, as it offered an escape. To rise to the lofty rate of WO was a proud achievement and meant that someone who had left school with no GCEs or O Levels had finally made something of themselves. These days it's more than possible to find jobs that are comparatively well paid and (regardless of if you feel it's getting easier to pass GCSEs, A Levels and Degrees) people are better trained. One of my oppos (also a leading hand) was offered promotion to PO and turned it down, when asked why his response was that he felt the pay wasn't enough for the bull a PO has to put up with along with the long hours outside of the "normal" work hours (talking day working SC's here) of 8-5 while working shore side. He was asked what his aspirations were in the RN and his actual response was "I'm a mercenary, I come to work, I do the job, I get paid and go home, I treat this job as I do all the other jobs I've had before, I just want to be able to live and pay my bills and go home as often as possible". this has put him at loggerheads with the WO who's very Queen and country and looked at him in disbelief at his honesty. These days many of the JRs own their own place, they are qualified to get jobs in other places if they know they're going to get paid better, the RN needs to work out how it can balance the work / leave ratio, stop the uncertainty of people's careers (I joined a ship a year and half ago and I'm nearly at the end of my draft, or I would be if I hadn't been rated up myself, without even moving onboard the ship having lived ashore in barracks as the ship's plans keep changing) and stop pissing about with people pay, pensions and taxes (no full state pension because I'm and apparently don't pay a full NI contribution? Cheers!).

The MR do jobs we don't, even when they share the same job title. I'd never expect an RNR SC rating to do my job on ship because I know they're not trained to do that, they've never seen MJDI in their lives, their job is to fly out and sort out the FLS and make sure the stores a deployed ship has ordered, reaches the ship. They may wear the SC branch badge, but they're a totally different part of the Supply Chain.


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wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
I feel this was recently highlighted to me a couple of weeks ago quite well, when my WO joined as an AB (or what ever they were back then), the military offered something much better than outside, it was a career for life and the lifestyles people had matched it well, as it offered an escape. To rise to the lofty rate of WO was a proud achievement and meant that someone who had left school with no GCEs or O Levels had finally made something of themselves. These days it's more than possible to find jobs that are comparatively well paid and (regardless of if you feel it's getting easier to pass GCSEs, A Levels and Degrees) people are better trained. One of my oppos (also a leading hand) was offered promotion to PO and turned it down, when asked why his response was that he felt the pay wasn't enough for the bull a PO has to put up with along with the long hours outside of the "normal" work hours (talking day working SC's here) of 8-5 while working shore side. He was asked what his aspirations were in the RN and his actual response was "I'm a mercenary, I come to work, I do the job, I get paid and go home, I treat this job as I do all the other jobs I've had before, I just want to be able to live and pay my bills and go home as often as possible". this has put him at loggerheads with the WO who's very Queen and country and looked at him in disbelief at his honesty. These days many of the JRs own their own place, they are qualified to get jobs in other places if they know they're going to get paid better, the RN needs to work out how it can balance the work / leave ratio, stop the uncertainty of people's careers (I joined a ship a year and half ago and I'm nearly at the end of my draft, or I would be if I hadn't been rated up myself, without even moving onboard the ship having lived ashore in barracks as the ship's plans keep changing) and stop pissing about with people pay, pensions and taxes (no full state pension because I'm and apparently don't pay a full NI contribution? Cheers!).

I've stated this before, here and in other fora, we have a real sociological change to face. I joined in '92, I suspect I was the last of the "career minded" big intakes [generalisation I accept].

Why? my age grown and those before me saw foreign travel as a huge bonus, something out of the norm. We viewed jobs as long term, careers, stability was key as was loyalty.

When I was on the staff at BRNC not a huge amount of time later I was amazed how quickly attitudes had changed, people weren't fazed about being on short commissions because most didn't think they'd even see them out. Travel wasn't such a draw as most had travelled extensively with families and friends, and quickly moving between employers wasn't perceived as a negative issue.

We've also got to the point where you deploy and largely take your home life with you, for good and bad. Communications accessibility means you can be on station in the Gulf and still have to deal with domestic dramas - who wants that.

And yes, being a largely technically oriented service it's possible to find comparable jobs in the civilian sector that don't have the same military bullshit.

The draw/USP we once had is no longer there. I absolutely understand people not wanting promotion, you simply end up with lots more hassle and complexity for very little additional renumeration.
 

wave_dodger

MIA
Book Reviewer
The RN only have manpower problems in the engineering branch don't they?

Like most of the Services we have manpower issues that vary in severity in a number of areas. A lot are being treated but the time to grow out of the problems fully is sometime in the next 10 years.
 
Chefs have been pouring out for years now however the return of some shore drafts might start to change this. Plus I read they're offering a 5k GH for new recruits and re-joiners.

Loosly following this thread; I'm currently in the RNR as a killick chef and it seems there's still a lot of indecision about how we work and what our purpose is. Frankly I don't see how it isn't hard for us to supplement the fleet, after all making stews and knocking out duff isn't subject to the same skill fade as say... being SPS on the plot.
 

Hooly

Lantern Swinger
Latest figures
 

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