Civilian appreciation of military qualifications

Discussion in 'Education and Resettlement Courses' started by Nick78, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. I am not a journalist :)

    Over the last few years we have been assisting service personnel as they go through ressetlement. Our main focus is on helping service leavers who are confused
    about what sort of a role they would be most suited to in civilian employment, unravel where is thier best 'fit'. We have met quite a few servicemen who tell us
    that their military qualifications have not been recognised by civilian employers. This includes a variety of roles even including aircraft engineers!

    We would very much like to hear from anyone who can confirm if this is indeed the case as an MP who supports our charity, Soldier On!, would like to address the
    House of Commons about this matter, if indeed it is true.

    A chance to make a difference, if needed, please do contact us and let us know your experiences, thank you so much.

    Nicholas -
  2. From a serving soldier point of view I would say that the biggest gripe is that the promise of civilian qualifications being awarded at the end of a trade course are often false. The course will only cover so much with the remaineder having to be done at a working unit. Fine, if you have qualified assessors etc. Most trade courses have been stripped down to the absolute bare bones leaving the soldier with a defence diploma which is no use whatsoever. Civilian companies want civilian qualifications, it is that simple. Artisan trades need to have their skills recognised by a civilian body, all the Army is worried about is that by giving soldiers civilian qualifications they are simple going to sign off and leave the Army. What ever happened to non financial rewards to motivate personnel, i.e. by letting personnel get qualified in their relevent discipline?
  3. Crikey plant life, I'd thought things had moved on, but obviously not.

    Back in the 70's and 80's I wanted to join a civilian trade association. Nothing to do with wanting to sign off, but more to do with keeping up with what my civilian counterparts were up to, access to the latest kit and on an educational level, to study and therefore to keep me out the pub a bit longer.

    We didn't have any formally recognised trade qualifications, because there were no such thing. It wasn't until AVRO (Association of Vehicle Recovery Operators) was formed that any sort of recognition was given to my chosen profession, but the Military was not interested in helping me out.

    There was nothing stopping me from joining, and I claimed 'grandfather' rights to bypass the entrance exams. I paid for my subs, and newsletter and attended seminars during annual leave all at my own expense which I was happy to do.

    Towards the end of my time, we did start getting some modern equipment from the 'civvy shelf' on a trial basis, (air bags and kinetic tow ropes spring to mind) but this was only as a result of our cross working with civilians in the Industry.

    Shame really, as I suspect there are plenty of trades within the Army who could benefit from more civilian interaction.

    MOD should pull it's head from the sand, and stop worrying about retention, and educate tradesmen and women to the same standards (at least) to that of equivalent trades in civvie Strasse.
  4. i got out in 2007, for me the resettlement was a crock of pish.

    they seemed to be more interested in pidgeon holing folk, i.e infantry to do c.p. courses,
    drivers to do HAZMAT/ driving, sigs to do comms.

    i was trying to get on a HAZMAT instructors course and basically was laughed out the room !!!

    i cant remember the name the grant that was given but i certainly got fucked off at the high port for it.

    more interested in saving as much cash as possible, my opinion obviously
  5. I studied at a defence college for my trade, ended up with an NVQ level 3 in Aeronautical engineering, but it certainly wont be accepted by civilians. Im not sure if colleges or universities would even accept a defence apprenticeship. Seeing as we go through full time intensive study at defence colleges or schools, id rather the government who we work for give us real qualifications such as A levels or GCSE's opposed to NVQ's. We put the study in for it, more then real colleges id say, most college students do 4 or 5 one hour lessons a week on a single subject, we have to be in class all day studying a single subject, with the exception of PT or parades, and also study at night.

    Being at a defence college should not be the same as being an apprentice as you are a full time student, your not really being paid for work, as your not actually producing any, of course an apprentice is taught by an employer in exchange for a contract, but to make us more employable it would be nice to view military service differently.

    But im happy i got something as opposed to nothing like it used to be.
  6. Hello Nick,

    We have met face to face and good luck with the research via ARRSE
  7. Certainly some of the technical trades do work a damn sight harder than civvies. As a Clerk of Works when we used to get HNDs rather than foundation degrees we did 5 modules more than a civvy HND, in a shorter time span with a higher pass mark!

    Unfortuantly with the RE artisan trades because the "nice to know" stuff has been cut out of the syllabus to save money they guys don't have the relevent knoweldge to get the higher level NVQs or City and Guilds.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. I was an RE artisan tradesman. It meant **** all in real money. Used my trade once, maybe twice in 7-8 years. The Army used it as a great recruiting tool, but I actually see it as a bit of a con. It only appears to have got worse over the years aswell.

    I found the careers transition workshop course helpfull to an extent, but limited in what it could actually do for you. As someone else mentioned they just seemed to point you in a certain direction and a lot of stuff was out of date. Luckily I knew what I wanted to do and organised it all and chased it myself. Maybe thats hows its meant to be, you sort all your own shit out. It is civvie street after all, but I don't have much confidence in the resettlement system. Took me long enough to get my resettelment money through, allthough it was around the time the army were bringing JPA in so that may explain the delay.
  9. A lot depends on the unit you are posted to. A lot of the guys don't touch their trade half as much as we did in the 90's and early 2000's for two reasons: whole fleet management and the fact that we don't have the Balkans/Northern Ireland or large maint teams like we used to. I have worked on civvy sites with my Dad whilst on leave and have seen ex RE guys getting along perfectly fine although they admitted it took a little bit of time to speed up.

    With Afghan slowly drawing down in the next few years hopefully there will be more opportunity for guys to get away on MACC tasks and keep their eye in with regards to trade. This will also provide the evidence they need to gain qualifications. We also need to start getting more qualified assessors in.
  10. All my courses done with MoD for work reasons are recognised in civy street:

    Branch training:
    *key skills level 2 in warehousing and distribution
    *city and guilds NVQ level 2 in warehousing

    *Dangerous Aic Cargo shipper with Civil Aviation Authority (refresher course at deepcut 2 weeks ago)
    *Merchant mariners Intermediate Sea Survival Course
    *Level 2 English (key skills)
    *Level 1 Maths (key skills)
    *Level 3 first aid

    Sent from my iPhone using The Force
  11. Squip, we have a similar background, although I was at Arborfield and went into the forces. Your post is surprising, and like some threads on here attempt to denigrate quals gained in the military. Often it seems to me in the form of currently serving soldiers with no civil trade experience giving ****, uninformed advice to potential crows. I secured a job no problem during my resettlement as an aircraft mech fitter on the back of an army apprenticeship in mech maintanence (Basic trade training) and NVQ 3 in aircraft maintanence (upgraders).

    I work with many ex crabs and WAFUs all with similar quals who, with under 10 years service, have had no problem getting decent paying work in aircraft manufacturing, shipbuilding, missile manufacturing, plant maintanence and even F1 teams.

    Under recent threat of redundancy I applied to Airbus who were very keen, they were sufficiently switched on to require my Class 1 course certificate. Class 1s are skilled men Class 2s semis. Speaking only from my own experience anyone leaving REME today (even in this economic climate) as a Class 1 air tech would have no problem getting a decent job. As I mentioned Airbus are desperate at the moment, as are BAE austalia if you fancy that.

    Don't underestimate the value of REME quals, any employer will be looking for an apprenticeship and NVQ 3 as a minimum as that is likely what company apprentices will get.
  12. I'm not trying to knock what our blokes are being taught or their abilities; I am simply not happy with the fact that all too often the guys aren't getting the qualifications they should due to courses being cut back to save a short term buck.
  13. Having not a done a Military course for a while I'm unaware of any updates the MOD have focused on attempting to make many courses equal within the civilian sector, however one for example DITs or similar variation was introduced due to allowing MOD employee's along side Military personnel to gain the teaching qualification. This was the information given by a RTO head.

    PTTLS is one simple example, if this is being introduced throughout the services then it is in the minority, if it isn't being introduced due to funding or other factors then it is giving individuals false hope, doing a DITS to then do a further course to make it civilianised is completely barking.

    In my location however, civilian trainers, of which one is ex-serving regularly visit to give lessons to troops but I'm unsure how many sites bring in civilian trainers, IIRC if you wanted any chance of a civilian course you had to get yourself down to the local college or learn direct to improve your personal development, although many have improved the Unit Education Office.
  14. Nick, I think one of the issues is that civilian employers don't understand military qualifications, why should they, the civilian qualification and competency landscape is complicated enough! A further assumption; individuals should receive a 'qualification' for attending a training course, also confuses the issue, that's not how it works in real life: a 'qualification' is a measure of recognised achievement, increasingly that achievement is nationally recognised competence although it could easily be a knowledge only qualification if that is appropriate. It's all very easy if an equivalent recognised civilian qualification is awarded after a period of military training and from my experience most military training courses are now followed up by a vocational competency assessment via the appropriate SSB/SSC i.e. CSkills, ECITB, Cogent, SEMTA etc - but it is up to the individual to pursue it to completion.

    My team have recently been asked to develop an industry recognised and accepted competency framework that includes military training courses and qualifications where they are appropriate. This will involve comparing the learning outcomes of a host of UK training courses across a vast range of engineering disciplines against a list of employer defined competencies, then deciding by some defined process if the assessment strategy for each of those courses/ qualifications is robust enough for the course/ qualification to be considered equivalent. Competency is the key here not qualifications, can you imagine just how much work is going to be involved in this and how much it is going to cost, you can start to appreciate why employers aren't about to embark on this sort of work in isolation. I'm even beginning to wonder myself if it's not a job for life!
  15. I'm a bit confused by this, you seem to be doing a great disservice to the DIT course, the DIT course covers far more than the introductory material covered in the PTTLS course. For a very long time the military has (rightly) adopted a process of designing training to meet the need and then if it meets the service need associating a civilian/ recognised qualification to it - it is the right way to protect public money and ensure individuals are most capable- designing a training intervention to meet a qualification is logically wrong. That said, the military are also very good at ignoring the needs of the individual (or at least they were when I was in and I understand it may have got far worse in these times of enforced austerity) and I appreciate that is an issue.

    Unlike civilian companies competing hard for contracts, nobody ever asks the military to provide evidence that their workforce are technically competent prior to embarking on operations, until they do there will be little desire to ensure that everyone can demonstrate their competency with a piece of paper, sad but something individuals have to manage for themselves to some extent.