From the 2008 Pay Review Report: REME Vehicle Mechanics 3.16 MOD proposed the introduction of a £7,000 FRI for REME Lance Corporal Vehicle Mechanics with between four and six years service. MOD cited that REME Vehicle Mechanics had been an Operational Pinch Point since 2003. Manning showed structural imbalances with shortages particularly acute at Lance Corporal (25 per cent) between five and seven years service a deficit of 320 (which increased to 386 or 31 per cent by October 2007). Lance Corporal Voluntary Outflow was at 13.5 per cent compared with the Army average of 5.8 per cent. Reasons for leaving were common to other areas of the Army separation, impact on domestic life and morale. These were exacerbated by a tour interval of 12 months (target 24 months) and 15.5 per cent breaking individual harmony guidelines for number of days separated. Current recruitment was described as strong but training capacity was limited without significant further investment. 3.17 MOD reassured us that the Army had been active in developing the REME Manning Plan and the REME Retention Strategy. These included nonremuneration measures, a structure review, a review of promotion rates and attracting rejoiners/transfers. The Army was confident that recruiting would plug the manning gap in the medium term as new entrants were just over target in 200607. 3.18 We conclude from MODs evidence and our visits that a temporary solution is required to support this front line operational capability. Unless addressed a downward spiral of gapping, reducing tour intervals and outflow is inevitable. The high level of responsibility held by these Junior NCOs on operations and the value of their skills to the civilian market also bring manning pressures. With these factors in mind, we endorse the introduction of the FRI. We note that MOD requires the level of the FRI (at £12,500 including Commitment Bonuses) to influence retention, to recognise the skill set required and Lance Corporals length of service, and to reflect training costs. A 70 per cent takeup was estimated and the FRI would terminate before the threeyear lifespan if manning reaches 98 per cent of requirement. Recommendation 5: We recommend the introduction of a REME Mechanics Financial Retention Incentive of £7,000 from 1 April 2008 for Lance Corporals with between four and six years service subject to a three year return of service. The FRI would run to 2011. Not before time....I might add.