Waiting time.

Discussion in 'Joining Up - Royal Navy Recruiting' started by 2badge_mango, Nov 22, 2008.

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  1. I know that I'm straying well out of my generation, but this is one for Ninja.
    I've just read Dean's thread on joining as an MA and am interested in the probable 18 months waiting time.
    When I applied to join the King's navy, I was told by the recruiters that my selected branch had no vacancies, so I went away and thought about it, but before I could make a decision I received notice for interview, which resulted in my joining the Queen's navy at 16.
    Fast forward to today.
    Every source available tells us that ALL the services are short of manpower. As a recruiter, could you please tell me, (in simple terms for an old codger), what the problem is, and which branches are so disliked by potential recruits?
    I do realize that the situation is totally different from 1952, but I am interested in the current situation, and the RN of today.

  2. Peter,

    Hopefully you will accept my answer. I do work in a similar role to Ninja!!

    The waiting times for branches are issued to us on a monthly basis from the HQ staff in Portsmouth. Some branches have always had waiting times, 30 years ago I wanted to be a Survey Recorder and was told I would have to wait 18 months and ended up joining as an RO instead.

    The shortage areas are pretty much anything on a Submarine, Especially warfare, CIS and Logs. AET in the WAFU world. WS in the general service. We always need Royal Marines.

    Most of the branches with longer waiting times are the smaller more specialised branches or the ones with good qualifications for leaving the RN. Subs is always more difficult to sell, even with the extra money we throw at it.

    There are jobs you can join quickly and jobs that unfortunately have longer waiting times (up to 24 months in some cases)

    Hope this answers your question

    kind regards

    Neil - Supermario (RN/RM careers advisor)

  3. Thanks Neil. I guess it's just the vastly reduced manpower required, against the seemingly endless queue of people at the jobcentres, that confuses me. Perhaps it was so much simpler in my day?

  4. Part of the problem is getting the right person to do the right job. Certainly in my office far too many fail the written test and we have a few problems with medical conditions.

    Some jobs have historically been far harder to fill. In honesty we don't have any major shortages with new entries. Keeping people in certain jobs is proving more difficult. There is definitely a problem in the modern youngsters and committing to a long career.

    We are getting there, but you can only deal with the guys who come through the door. Money for advertising as always APPEARS TO BE TIGHT. I do wonder how the Army and the RAF seem to have more mainstream advertising time than the RN/RM.

    Thanks for the interest.


  5. My belief, and purely my belief. Is that the Army especially has a problem simply getting in the numbers of prospective soldiers it would like. So speculate to accumulate!!!!

    As for the RAF they have always had money to pour into the PR machine.
  6. This is probably the main key factor IMHO.
  7. Though I'm in no way qualified to make judgements on my generation, I suspect that this might continue to be an ongoing problem for the forces.

    I can certainly say that a few years ago I would have lumped myself in with this assessment - I was a lazy, fat idiot kid who had no idea where I was going or what I would eventually do with myself. I followed the standard pattern of many young'uns born in the 80s or later - went through secondary school in the mid-to-late 90s/early 00s, they stick a form in front of me and off I go to university without any plan or ambition attached. I emerge in 2004 with a half-baked degree, lots of student debt, and still no plan of action. I then fumble around for the next few years, still pretty much clueless, working crap jobs and doing naught much else, until I eventually decide I need to get myself into shape - improve my lifestyle on every front and decide to make something of myself. All of this culminates (after research and much soul-searching) at 25 years old with a decision to join the RN - make a difference, learn some real skills, test myself, see the world, build a future. All that good stuff.

    Anyway, to cut that rambling short, the point I was attempting to make was that I - like many others around me - was very disconnected from the real world. I had no idea where I was going, but such was the nature of the world these days, I had lots to distract me and my gnat-like attention span (computers, satellite tv, etc). Life in my early 20s was like a continuation of my adolesence, and it was only as my mid-20s crept up that I started to really get a grip and start thinking about what I wanted from life. It's very easy now for young people to simply not grow up. I guess knowing I had potential that was going to waste helped to turn me around, but maybe others don't see that or want much else - fair enough, I'm in no place to criticise anyone's lifestyle choices.

    I just really wanted to ask our resident recruiter types, seeing we're on the subject of intakes and the struggle to get young'uns through the door, and the extra struggle to keep them in service after a few years, is my story a recurring pattern you guys notice? That maybe - of the people you do get coming in - are you getting an increased percentage of people enquiring and joining once they've done the extended adolescence thing, and have decided they want something more from life?

    I don't know, I'm rambling. I'd just be curious to know if there are others like myself who decided that they could be and do more than they would have been had they continued living the modern 20-something existence.
  8. Hi HDW,

    The answer is yes there is an increase in slightly older candidates who have gone into FE, not really knowing in what direction they will go O/C.

    There is definately more candidates coming out of Uni courses. Having either completed a degree, or pulled out not really seeing the advantage of continuing with a course with no direction and the potential for massive debts (Student loan etc).

    Recently we also seem to be seeing more 30 somethings looking for a long-term career with prospects. Big decision for that age group with the initial drop in money etc.


  9. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Following on from Neil, having just spent the whole of last week visiting the main phase one and two training establishments for update briefs, the following things struck me:

    We are busier now than we have been in many years and Raleigh is at capacity with around 70 recruits joining each week together with Lympstone increasing Troop sizes to 60 per fortnight. We could only increase capacity if we had further instructors available & buildings with beds in them.

    Yes there are still shortages in the fleet without doubt, but at long last we are making inroads and starting to recruit more than are leaving. That said the RMs are still well under strength, but that figure is decreasing. Wastage remains high because standards remain high - most are voluntary withdrawls, less than half as many again on medical grounds and half as many again are just unsuited.

    RN Wastage (PVR, MED & Unsuitable) in training is around 12% - far better than a few years ago, but still room for improvement, granted.

    Particular "pinch points" were discussed such as Diver waiting times (16 months +) and the simple fact is that there's no shortage of initial interest, but we lose many candidates because of the wait to join. That said we only need very few and each intake numbers around 10 trainees delivering about 50% passes. Although we have 100's interested because it's a trade which sells itself second only to aircrew, there simply isn't a requirement to recruit hundreds to fill the billets.

    The Seaman Specialist was an interesting one. Well in excess of 100 waiting to join, shortages in the fleet, but very few phase two courses running & large wastage due to many being unaware that many weeks are spent in Collingwood classrooms learning flashing light morse, communications & suchlike- many join thinking it's just about playing with boats & leave disillusioned. It's a fair bit different to what the old Seaman Spec used to do. To be honest if I was a seaman spec, I'd give serious consideration to finding out more about the CIS trade which is readily available & shares at least some commonality.

    From my perspective the ones who are managing the most significant increases in recruiting, whilst still admittedly badly undermanned, are the Submarine service. The difference in the new submarine school is tangible amongst the trainees and very impressive overall. The submariners are working very, very hard to make the lot of the submariner better with the new operational seagoing pay (£5 per day on top of submarine pay) & retention bonuses being implemented around the 8 year retention pinch point.

    Finally the future is beginning to look brighter with regard manpower in the fleet, and whilst that may or may not be due to the credit crunch, if it makes the seagoers life better, then that's got to be good because they will be more inclined to stay.
  10. Is the new operational seagoing pay (£5 per day) open to fleet as well as submariners?

    Encouraging regarding seaman spec/CIS.

    Very informative, thank you.
  11. Excellent and informative contributions from Supermario and Ninja - as per usual.
    Thanks lads.

  12. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    There is additional seagoing pay for all serving afloat however sundodgers are the only ones to get the extra fiver on top of their special service/extra knowledge pay (Submarine Pay).

    The only word of caution with regard CIS is that it requires a slightly higher maths & overall score, but it's worth at least seeing if you are eligible. That said, if you've only sat the Recruiting Test once you may re-sit after 12 months if you need a higher score, which would still mean you could join sooner than sea Spec IF you consider CIS more suitable.
  13. I changed to CIS after my RT pass back in October. Now just waiting for financial issues to be put to bed, re-interview (AFAIK), medical and fitness test. The sooner I get in the better because my mates sofa isn't that comfortable to be honest.
  14. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Again, it's worth looking at the Seaman Spec training module (below) and comparing it to the Communications Information Specialist trade. (Or Warfare Branch Communicator depending what it’s called this week).

    Seaman Spec Training – 22 Weeks, breaks down as follows.

    The first module is Visual Signalling (V/S) as you will come to refer to it. V/S encompasses the different types of Visual Communications employed within the Royal Navy. During this module you will be taught to recognise Signal Flags and be able to interpret their meanings. We will teach you Audio Morse using our Computer Based Training methods which will lead on to Visual Morse Code training you to read Flashing Light.

    One week of outdoor leadership training in the Brecon Beacons. This is where you develop your team building skills and leadership skills. It is aimed to bring out your self discipline and potential and reinforce military ethos.

    Naval Military Training conducted at Whale Island is where you will be trained in the use and capabilities of the 5.56 rifle. As you have already been exposed to this weapon during your time in phase one training and again in Collingwood. Excellent will further expand your knowledge of the capabilities and use of the 5.56 rifle and instruct you on the procedures used for searching the ship looking for intruders.

    Basic Sea Survival, also conducted at HMS Excellent is where you will learn all the aspects of sea survival and fire fighting. During this module you will be accommodated onboard HMS Bristol alongside HMS Excellent.

    A vital part of naval ship handling, Fleetwork is the theory behind ship manoeuvring and station keeping in close formations. During this module you will learn to encode and decode tactical signals and interpret them into Basic English for reporting onto the Command and explaining how the Officer of the Watch is to drive the ship into its new position.

    The practical side of this module is consolidated within the Fleetwork Trainer, a computer based simulator capable of generating a variety of games ranging from basic games involving only ships to advance warfare games incorporating aircraft, submarines and missiles.

    You will also be shown how to use the transmission and reception of distress messages and Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacons (EPIRB) and Search And Rescue Transponders (SART)

    During the module you will also gain an insight into the GMDSS (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) organisation and your role within that organisation as a SHORT RANGE CERTIFICATE holder.

    The operation of portable communications equipment will be a vital part of your job onboard a warship whether it is to communicate with your ship whilst in the ships seaboat or to the helicopter if you lose communication using the ships main communications equipment. During this module you will learn how to use a range of portables ranging from VHF to UHF.

    Working with VHF radios at sea requires special training and a certificate of competence issued by the Maritime Coastguard Agency. This is known as a Short Range Certificate (SRC) and is issued on the successful completion of the short range module. During this module you will be instructed on the regulations governing the use of VHF at sea and how to deal with Distress situations.

    Tactical Voice Procedure is used in conjunction with Fleetwork as a method of sending and receiving signals from the manoeuvring publications. You will be taught the correct procedure employed within tactical voice.

    The next module to look at is Ceremonial. During this module you will be taught the correct procedure to carry out the ceremony of Colours and Sunset which is the wearing of colours by HM Warships.

    Physical Security is a vital part of your job whilst onboard a warship. It is the procedures used to safeguard classified material including the operation of a safe and accounting for its contents.

    During the Signal Message Writing module will look at the various types of messages used within the Royal Navy and how we deliver them to the correct address. You will also look at the way the contents of the messages are safeguarded using protective markings.

    You will depend a lot on publications and we will therefore instruct you on how to maintain and keep current the publications which you use on a daily basis.
  15. So basically back to being a Buntin or RO(T)?
  16. Are these Signal messages in text speak or are semen specialists given a crash course in English to prepare them for the shock of having to use the English language correctly?

    Also these publications are they in text speak?
    If not are they kept at Janet and John blue reader level? :w00t:
  17. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Unfortunately for some, they are written and transmitted in plain English as our NATO allies don't use txt spk sadly.

    The Maritime Warfare School advise that some individuals do struggle greatly with this aspect and that dyslexic individuals often find it surprisingly difficult given that they had passed the recruiting test & were lead to believe they were capable of completing phase two training.
  18. Shouldn't they have made the AFCO aware they are dyslexic then if that is the case?
  19. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    It's an interesting one Tommo.

    Dyslexia is not a bar to entry providing the applicant passes the Recruiting Test.

    The Recruiting Test is "dyslexic friendly" inasmuch as there is no writing involved, it's printed on pastel coloured paper & the font is arial round for ease of comprehension. Perhaps there are grounds to change this as the pivotal part of warfare is without doubt effective communications - but it's well above my payscale to make a call either way.

    It is arguable whether someone cannot complete their trade training due to dyslexia is medically discharged or discharged unsuitable during training.

  20. I just would've thought if the AFCO knew about the Dyslexia appropriate career path can be provided instead finding out the suitablity for the chosen path during training.

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