£1500 to try out army life

Auld-Yin

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#1
http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=284142006

Who needs the King's shilling when young Scots get £1,500 for training?
SHAN ROSS

Key points
• Youngsters offered cash incentives to join up
• £1,500 to attend training scheme
• Army looks to give positive image of service life to potential recruits

Key quote
"It's an opportunity for young people to challenge their own potential and pick up some useful skills along the way. They will gain confidence, get fitter, learn a variety of new skills and become much more independent. All these new competencies are transferable and will be valuable applications in the workplace, or when students return to college." - Brigadier Davey Kirk, commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade


Story in full
YOUNG Scots are to be offered £1,500 to go on a Territorial Army training scheme which could see them joining regular army units and filling gaps left by cuts to the armed forces.

Students and unemployed people signing on at Jobcentre Plus offices are being contacted to fill about 250 places on the fast-track seven-week Summer Challenge 2006 course.

The scheme aims to speed up training of TA recruits to raise manpower to critical mass numbers from its present level of 80 per cent, because of the increased possibility of being mobilised overseas.

However, there is no compulsion for any of the attendees aged between 17 and 32 to join the TA or the regular army, for which they would be qualified after the intensive course.

Suitable candidates who do decide to sign up will receive a tax-free bounty of £371.

Brigadier Davey Kirk, CBE, commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade, who launched the scheme at Redford Cavalry Barracks in Edinburgh yesterday, said the scheme was an expansion of a pilot project started last year.

"It's an opportunity for young people to challenge their own potential and pick up some useful skills along the way.

"They will gain confidence, get fitter, learn a variety of new skills and become much more independent. All these new competencies are transferable and will be valuable applications in the workplace, or when students return to college."

Brigadier Kirk said the army would not regard the payments as wasted if volunteers failed to join up because he hoped they would take away a positive image to pass on to other potential recruits such as friends and family members.

Recruits will be based at training centres across Scotland including Inverness, Aviemore and Glenrothes. As well as learning how to fire a gun, they will be taught to drive and receive navigation, orienteering and adventure training.

Private Charlene Marshall, 19, who joined the TA Royal Logistics Corps after taking part in last summer's pilot scheme, is typical of the new breed of recruit the campaign is aimed at.

She works as a saleswoman in Dunfermline and earns £30 a day when on TA duties. "I used to be kind of shy but I had two uncles in the TA and that encouraged me to give it a try. It has built my confidence up and everything just seems easier now. It's taught me so much including how to talk to people from different backgrounds," she said.

"Some of my friends have seen the difference in me and are interested in joining."

Colonel Allan Lapsley, the course co-ordinator and a managing director in civilian life, said the course was ideal for the "computer generation", who sometimes lacked the ability to communicate face-to-face.

He said: "Society has changed so much that even graduates need training in communication skills and working as a group. They will also see that most people's image of the army is 40 years out of date. It has evolved to become a much more relaxed place."

But Jeff Duncan, a spokesman for the Save the Regiments campaign, questioned the financial implications behind the recruitment drive.

"The lure of a few a thousand pounds or more of taxpayers' money to help students out of debt and give them a holiday at the same time is a nice social concept.

"However, this is a desperate attempt by army chiefs to lure those who need the hard cash to make up numbers in the ranks. It's another example of hypocrisy and mismanagement by the army board - destroy the Scottish Regiments then try to patch it up with harebrained schemes costing millions."
£1500 for 7 weeks is not that much money and if it gets recruits in with the correct frame of mind then this is probably quite a cheap method. I wish it success.

I just wish that Jeff Duncan, who seems to be the current 'Rent-a-Quote' for anything about the army just now, would just shut up. His comments here are totally out of context and bollox.

Do you agree with Duncan or do you think this scheme should be given a go?
 
#3
It is an excellent idea. Jeff Duncan's comments are not helpful.

msr
 
#4
msr said:
It is an excellent idea. Jeff Duncan's comments are not helpful.

msr
Agreed. They'll soon get the money back in food and accommodation charges anyway - providing, of course, the payments aren't handled by Glasgow, in which case some of them will never see it!
 

Sixty

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#5
The Scotsman said:
The scheme aims to speed up training of TA recruits to raise manpower to critical mass numbers from its present level of 80 per cent, because of the increased possibility of being mobilised overseas.

However, there is no compulsion for any of the attendees aged between 17 and 32 to join the TA or the regular army, for which they would be qualified after the intensive course.
Anything that helps recruiting is surely a good idea but what exactly is this? Presumably given the above quote it isn't the Recruit Selection Course, first couple of weekends & Recruits Course/Continuation Training etc all rolled into one* but rather an extended familiarisation type visit.

If there is no direct connection between applying and receiving the money (and assuming the £1500 figure is correct), it's of fairly minimal use in my opinion. £1500 certainly isn't that much compared to an average salary but it still kicks the arrse out of dole money, so why not sign up, learn map reading and the like, pocket the cash and head back to the dole office/college?

I'd agree with Jeff Duncan's first paragraph but not the second, which has little relevance to the article.


*A far better idea.

Edit: Not disparaging the whole scheme. It just seems like a wasted opportunity.
 

The_Duke

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#6
It has to be worth a try. Also, for a normal recruit training programme of 8 weekends (at 2.5 days each), 2 weeks CIC (15 days), training nights (3 months at 1/4 day per week) plus any subsequent training equals over £1200 per recruit anyway. Start adding the travel claims in to the equation and £1500 for a trained soldier is a good deal.

Duke

Edited to add - If they are qualified to join the TA after finishing the course then it seems that it must be a basic training course. And of course, there is no compulsion on anyone finishing their TA recruit course to stay at the end either!
 

Sixty

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#7
My point exactly. Why not pay the cash and get a shiny new trained soldier rather than someone who doesn't have to give the TA a second thought after receiving their cash?
 
#8
Because you are paying the cash and getting a shiny new trained soldier...

msr
 
#9
To get an idea of the value of a scheme like this, you would need to look at how much is spent on recruiting overall, divided by the number of people recruited to get a cost per soldier. Abacus or a similar recruiting guru will know the sums involved.I suspect it will be a surprisingly high figure, so this scheme may well represent good value - providing they don't spend too much promoting it!
 

Sixty

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#10
Oh. I'll shut up then :) The article did suggest it was just a confidence building type thingy. If they have to be attested and such then, yes, I agree it's superb idea.

Edit: Reply was to msr.
 
#11
This a thorough re-working of the trial on Benbecula last year. This is a real joined up campaign supported from the top and promoted by everyone at the bottom including the RFCAs. For once it actually has all the bits of marketing in place as part of the plan.

Infor on last year's trial can be found on here and here.
 
#12
Sixtyfootdoll said:
My point exactly. Why not pay the cash and get a shiny new trained soldier rather than someone who doesn't have to give the TA a second thought after receiving their cash?
This seems like a bloody good idea to me. The army spend millions each year promoting their good image through the OTC system and get some return for it, in the way of TA (85% of TA officers come through the OTC route) and regular officers. A 7 week intensive "Summer Camp" looks to be a good idea even if not all attendees join up, they will still promote the "Good Image" and leave with some useful skills that will help them with future employment whether they are students or the unemployed. And if they do join up that’s a bonus.
 

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