How long does it take to train a TA craftsman?

Discussion in 'REME' started by usmarox, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. Evening all,

    I'm in the process of enlisting wiht my local TA unit. It's a Signals squadron, but I was told that have an open VM slot, which quite piqued my interest. The army website says 20 weeks, plus 9 weeks driver training, for a regular VM. Does anyone know how long this expands into for TA soldiers?

    All help gladly recieved,
  2. Depends how often you turn in.

    After you are a trained soldier, you have start standards training over 2 weekends, they are usually run a couple of times a year at your nearest REME TA unit. Then 2 weeks in bordon on your VM class3/2 course this is run at regular intervals throughout theyear.

    VM is a fairly quick trade to train in compared to Armourer, Metalsmith or ReccyMech trades.
  3. Probably a stupid question - does that mean trade training is conducted away from the parent unit? I wasn't sure if it would be done by the squadron LAD or not.

    Still, the nearest workshop coy's only in Coventry...just about commutable ;)
  4. Trade training for VM's is done in house at my unit, as long as the start standards are met then theres no reason to even think of going to Bordon for a Class 3, a Class 2 is what you should be gaining.
    It could be argued that having met the start standards there's no need to go to Bordon at all.......

    Once you have done your recruits training then the time it takes to get trade trained depends on the potential Cfn, are you a mechanic in the real world ? If so you could be exempt training and granted Class 2.
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Nope, have to disagree on this one. Unless you are a 'vocational' mechanic - that is, you do it for a living, or you are exceptionally keen and have a natural aptitude, it is VERY VERY hard to become a competent VM just on TA time. On Ops those 'hobby mechanics' were at a severe disadvantage compared to the rest - however they will of course always find work doing the routine servicing tasks that still ned to be done.

    Metalsmith - even more so, as there is, believe it or not, a bit of 'artistry' and a lot of skill involved in this.

    Reccy Mech - you CAN learn this in TA time, and learn it to avery competent level.

    BTW, the Army's two biggest pinchpoints for Soldiers, that is those they are most short of, for the entire Army, are Recy Mechs and VMs. So either is a pretty sure way of being able to get on an Op tour as soon as you are qualified - if you want!
  6. Bah!

    I thought from the subject title that it was going to be one of those "How many TA soldiers does it take to change a lightbulb?" kind of jokes......

    oh well :-(

  7. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Lightbulb? Sorry, that's power supply, and therefore REs, so wrong Board, mate - demarcation, you know :)
  8. mean we TRAIN them?

    Sorry, some things you cant resist even if you really should.
  9. gettin traded + qualified and getting good at your job have got to be seen as 2 different things.

    for example: a TA VM course at bordon is run once every few months, and a 60% pass gets you a class 2 pending. A class3 armr or metalsmith course is run at Bordon once a year and even with a 100% pass mark you still only get a class3. the armr course only has 12 places for sure, think the metalsmith only has 6!!.

    OK, trying to become a competent VM in just 2 weeks is impossible, but then again so are all the other trades. The only way people are going to really excel at their trade is by gettin tons of practice in. As a class2 VM they can get good quality trade exp. by workin on their own, solving problems etc and just getting it checked by the class1 when they have finished. The armr or metalsmith is still only a class3 and can`t do squat without having someone hold their hand...... assuming people are working by the book of couse!
  10. A trained and useful TA VM. Are there any??
  11. What the hell are they, and where do you find one?
  12. Thank you all for your replies. I'm feeling it's a bit more practical then I thought, so I'll ask some more when I go in with the enlistment paperwork.

    A_Mech and Tiffy_Massive: Your comments suggest that TA VMs aren't particularly well thought of by their regular counterparts. Obviously they don't get as much practice, but are they able (in your experience) to perform a useful mobilisation role? Or they really limited to making tea and stagging on for 6 months?
  13. Most TA VMs are trained by regular PSI's, the fortnight holiday down Bordon is just to confirm its being done correctly..
    Any failings in the end product shouldn't be aimed at the TA soldier..
  14. TA tradesmen are a mixed bag IMO. We had a Sgt TA VM who could just about be trusted to do 21 day checks in Iraq. He was a 'hobby' mechanic who had no real civvy experience as a VM.
    I've seen other TA VMs who were fantastic, better than some regulars.

    The trouble is HQ REME TA and/or DEME(A) decided that we should accept non-civvy qualified people as tradesmen in the TA. How they thought a 2 week basic, 2 week class 1 and 2 week Tiffy course would be adequate training is beyond me - I believe this is being addressed now using Eng Stds/competency.

    We got what we paid for in the past.