IS Engineers - where are they all going????

Discussion in 'Royal Signals' started by A2_Matelot, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    What is happening within the Corps, the net out flow of IS Engineers is increasingly looking terminal. Whilst I certainly don't have MCM Divs "official" figures to coroborate my comments, I do have an increasing amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest the numbers leaving are increasing at a time when IS Engineers are needed the most.

    I cannot believe this hasn't attracted senior attention - if what I hear is true and I admit the rumour mill isn't always spot on, in some instances (i.e LAND almost all of their IS Engineers [CPl and below] have signed off) - what is going on?

    What is being done to attract future IS Engineers, tempt current IS Engineers to stay? The Corps needs to develop a retention strategy/policy, be that enhanced training and/or a retention bonus, it clearly looks like we need to consider some formal mechanism.

    On a similar vein - the proposal to merge trades, IMHO, is not the way ahead - its solves a very short term problem but longer term will open up a can of worms. Look at the RN - they merged Operators and Maintainers a number of years ago for similar reasons and lo and behold they have just undone that and dismissed the initiative as a failure.
  2. Why should they stay when we are paying £300 a day for implementation engs and upwards of £400 for test engrs. To be honest the standard of engrs coming out is not great, they are just being hired for DII(f) because they have sigs on the CV and claim to be able to design AD infra. I've seen 2 tech sgts recently who when asked to design a simple domain or exchange forest in an interview turn pale and start sweating, yet have CV's that would suggest advanced MS design skills.
  3. I guess it is a bit of a vicious circle, the demand for IS deployed is ever growing and the trade is still small, meaning many tours and when not on tour, attempting to hone your IS skills on a tiny budget and also balance in military development training & family life.

    All I can think of is to bring more transferee's in and recruit more from civ st, however a big change like this takes years to plan, mainly for budget reasons. I would assume their are loads of people who are R Signals and non R Signals who would love a crack at IS and we all know why - transferrable skills to civvi street.

    All the best to the hard working IS Engrs out there!!
  4. Cow

    Cow LE

    HAHA, I was going for a DII job, but you do actualy have to have a clue for some of the jobs. Quals are one thing, blagging it will get you caught out and sacked giving squddies a bad name.
  5. As a IS Eng the problem I feel is deffinately with retention, most postings except the usual gucci ones are working on out of date kit such as windows nt etc etc and thus meaning skill fade is too great to consider the job a viable option.

    This is'nt just me ranting about my experiences, within my troop of about 18 all the Engrs that can have signed off with the others either being pension trapped or not able to yet!

    The budget in most Regt's etc is to small to train guys and altho personal expense could be shouted, should guys be paying that amount of money! The quals the guys get dont exist and on a recent MCM div briefing it was raised whilst other trades receive NVQ's etc IS Engr's get an ECDL qual, thats surely very weak!

    On the merge I was told that they are looking at the new class 3's having qualified with MCSE quals - personally cant see it, but even so where is this going to be useful with most of the kit we use.

    sensible coments are discussions welcome
  6. CS Eng Class 3 courses due to start March '08 (or is it May?), with first Class 1 CS Eng course in Nov '08.

    I've heard talk of a new "Tech Supervisor" role as well (not FofS), anyone else?
  7. I am one of the fortunate few to be posted at Land, ALL IS Engineers Cpl and below have signed off, well all except the new guy we have just been sent and we are working on him! It won't be long! :twisted:

    On the merge trades, I have been told that it will only be up until Class 1 level, whne you then get the choice to go the tech or IS route. Anyone else heard this?
  8. Apart from JOCS (which is everywhere these days), I don't agree with the stuff about most people using NT. Look at the big units like 16 Sigs - they have 2003. The stuff deploying in theatre is rapidly becoming 2003-dominant, although I won't elaborate. What kind of units are we talking about here? Armd Div and Bdes? PM me if you like.

    I think that the brainy people dreaming up the new Communication Systems Engineer (CS Eng) have an aspiration to get the Class 3 (thus developing to Class 2) at MCSA plus CCNA. I personally feel that the Class 3/2 should actually be broadly trained at what Cisco are now calling the CCENT (Certified Cisco Entry Networking Technician). It's essentially a baby CCNA and it's 100% new, as the new scheme starts in August. Check this link for more info.

    I then think that Class 1 should develop up to MCSE and CCNA or CCNP. Then supervisors should be up at MCSD (i.e. Design/Develop) and CCNP or CCIE. It's not always helpful to use a civvy model and map it directly to the military but at least it's a framework of sorts.

    What do you think (again, sensible posts only please)
  9. If the CL1 and Supvr course can become more scenario based it would benefit the IS Engr greatly. There does need to be more investigation into what IS Engrs are doing on the ground. If there could be some quals associated with that, then all the better.
  10. Although not 100% able to fully comment due to my trade being RTG, RSOP, Whatever next Op, it is probably all about the qualification you would be giving upon successful completion. Before the ink has dried on the certificate, their NTT papers would be presented to the "old man" due to the lure of a mouth-watering salary on civ strasse?

    As I said, not in a position to give a D.S solution.
  11. Cow

    Cow LE

    You say that, but by the time the 'time bar' has run out the qualifications will be out of date (CCNA 3 years, Microsoft: Constantly changing).
  12. If they are going that fast then something needs to be done and fast otherwise the Corps will bleed faster than they can be replaced which will cause problems operationaly... that cannot happen.

    What is this shite about pay in civvie street anyway. Yes defence contractors can earn but what are they going to do when that runs out! DII will not run for ever and these companies are increasinly using better managers to assist in recruitment to stop the taking on of under expierenced and under qualified people to prime posts.

    The IT world in civvie street can be harsh, lost of people with MCSE on their CV but most have not got the deepth in any field to sustain a decent job. Most companies like their engineers to excell in a single field because they are employed for a specific post, job not skill set.

    My wife works within the civvie IT industry and only certain jobs/skill sets are paid high wages. An engineer, 21 - 25 would be on 20 - 25k if they were lucky. Good SQL Administrators and designers however seem to be paid a fortune... but then again what price to pay.
  13. Also what is this pish about giving soldiers good quals and they leave? That is pure bullshit. If someone has no intention of staying they will go anyway sooner or later, good quals or not.

    Give someone a base of quals and expierence and they may stay, certainly if they left after 22 years they should be able to get into a decent job, proven background, maybe even a degree (if they apply themselves) with a load of quals and a vast expierence.

    This is not just the Army, a company who do not look after their staff loose their staff. A company who provide for their staff and increase their skills will generally keep the staff. Yes you will always get the ones who hop but you are never going to satisfy them.
  14. Understand with regards to technology moving faster than a whippet at 1/5 on, but those quals would surely entice them to move from the bowels of "insert a hot place or Salisbury Plain" to a position where the salary was as good as or far better in an environment where sideburns are not an issue?