MoD Skills shortage and PAC report

#1
The PAC have reported today on MoD skills shortages:

https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmpubacc/1027/102702.html

In shock news, they’re underwhelmed by our approach to solve this

In January 2018, the Armed Forces had the largest shortfall of regulars for many years. It has skill shortages in over 100 critical trades. This is a longstanding problem and the Department does not expect to close the shortfall of 8,200 regulars until 2022 at the earliest. So far, the Department states that it has managed to deliver defence operations by prioritising its commitments and placing additional demands on regulars. But this approach is not sustainable in the long-term, particularly as the nature of warfare is evolving rapidly, and the Department increasingly needs more specialist technical and digital skills to respond to threats to national security. It currently has skill shortages in critical trades, including a 23% shortfall in pilot trades; a 26% shortfall in intelligence analyst trades; and a 17% shortfall in engineers. The Department has not developed a coherent plan for closing the existing skill gaps and securing the new skills that it will need. It has relied too much on long-established and conservative approaches, and has been slow to respond to the changing external environment. Its initiatives to improve recruitment have been small-scale and piecemeal, and the changes to regulars’ terms and conditions have not yet helped retention. The Department needs to: develop and implement a strategy to close existing skill gaps and secure the new skills that it needs; make better use of the extensive data it collects to understand the causes of shortfalls in critical trades; and exploit more innovative approaches to recruiting and retaining people with specialist skills.
There are a whole load of cross links to the Direct Entry SO1 thread, many of the FYB complaints, etc. In short, different day, same shit processes....
 
#2
And more innovative use of reserves with specialist skill sets out with the military ones...

I am a quality specialist in the day job - process, outputs, and customer management are what I do. As part of that I take part in contracting negotiations and similar. In reserve world I am a signals officer. Would the Army ever think about me doing anything other than comms for 6 months, like say, contract management? I doubt it.
 
#4
Same old, same old:

The Department’s Head Office estimates that Commands did not use £261 million of their allocated workforce budgets in 2017–18, but does not know how else this funding was used.
WTF?

The Department accepted the need to improve its financial management, and is seeking to strengthen the role of its Head Office in this area
Oh, that's alright then.
 
#6
In my opinion one of the main problem is that pay, benefits and progression for certain trades in the Armed Forces can never compete with whats on offer in Civi street.
 
#7
And more innovative use of reserves with specialist skill sets out with the military ones...

I am a quality specialist in the day job - process, outputs, and customer management are what I do. As part of that I take part in contracting negotiations and similar. In reserve world I am a signals officer. Would the Army ever think about me doing anything other than comms for 6 months, like say, contract management? I doubt it.
Surely all three Services are short of Communicators? So guess where you can be used to best effect?

However, I am told there is work going on (in the Maritime Reserves at least) to identify civilian skills that could be used during mobilisation, FTRS, exercises, ADC employment, etc. I have no idea how it will be compatible with JPA putting everyone in pigeon holes, SQEP issues, and so on.
 
#8
Not quite sure when it dips into terminology of 'Department' and then into 'Commands' how the fix will work. Apparently Chief of Defence people needs more power to force a joined up approach, but the Commands need to show more initiative. Is that not a contradiction?
 
#9
And more innovative use of reserves with specialist skill sets out with the military ones...

I am a quality specialist in the day job - process, outputs, and customer management are what I do. As part of that I take part in contracting negotiations and similar. In reserve world I am a signals officer. Would the Army ever think about me doing anything other than comms for 6 months, like say, contract management? I doubt it.
What you have never heard of 499 Contract Management Unit part of 2 OSG RLC based at Grantham? I only know they exist as I know a couple of bods in the unit
 
#10
Same old, same old:



WTF?



Oh, that's alright then.
Quite simply put, the Army (and RN/RAF) know that they will never meet their personnel headmark, and thus use the wage bill that should nominally pay them to fund other things. Under the delegated model, MoD Centre (who were the only people interviewed) will have no idea what the various TLBs do with that money. In the main, it goes on equipment procurement and support.
 
#11
Quite simply put, the Army (and RN/RAF) know that they will never meet their personnel headmark, and thus use the wage bill that should nominally pay them to fund other things. Under the delegated model, MoD Centre (who were the only people interviewed) will have no idea what the various TLBs do with that money. In the main, it goes on equipment procurement and support.
Not really good enough is it though?
 
#12
#13
Surely all three Services are short of Communicators? So guess where you can be used to best effect?

However, I am told there is work going on (in the Maritime Reserves at least) to identify civilian skills that could be used during mobilisation, FTRS, exercises, ADC employment, etc. I have no idea how it will be compatible with JPA putting everyone in pigeon holes, SQEP issues, and so on.
Hang on... I said signals officer not communicator...
 
#14
An acquaintance of mine has just graduated from University with a First in his MEng whilst also doing the Reserve Cdo Cse, passing flying grading and AOSB.

He was so unimpressed with what he has seen of the (Regular) Army that he has decided not to go to RMAS (he had a place last Sunday), however they don't seem too bothered. One would have thought that any competent organisation might have made at least a little contact to try to find out why or even change his mind.
 
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#15
@alfred_the_great

At several times in the last ten or more years I have sat in a room listening to SO2 something or other talking about a new employment model - and using the analogy of a motorway where the individual can move between regular and reserve service, take career breaks, and so on.

Could that ever be workable?
 
#16
@alfred_the_great

At several times in the last ten or more years I have sat in a room listening to SO2 something or other talking about a new employment model - and using the analogy of a motorway where the individual can move between regular and reserve service, take career breaks, and so on.

Could that ever be workable?
The late Duke of Westminster was a great advocate of that as a 2*.

It’s sort of possible in the ADF but the Australian federal government dealt with the elephant on the room; legislation.
 
#17
@alfred_the_great

At several times in the last ten or more years I have sat in a room listening to SO2 something or other talking about a new employment model - and using the analogy of a motorway where the individual can move between regular and reserve service, take career breaks, and so on.

Could that ever be workable?


Not in the real world.

Even undertaking periods of reserve/TA service (e.g. a deployment) will usually have a severe impact on a civilian career or job (or family).

Attempting to switch multiple times between separate regular careers would leave most individuals in a very bad position indeed. For one thing, you'd be left years behind your full-time peers in both jobs.
 
#18
Not in the real world.

Even undertaking periods of reserve/TA service (e.g. a deployment) will usually have a severe impact on a civilian career or job (or family).

Attempting to switch multiple times between separate regular careers would leave most individuals in a very bad position indeed. For one thing, you'd be left years behind your full-time peers in both jobs.
As a Reservist I am aware of this. Perhaps we could get away from the model of six to twelve month mobilisations or nothing, FTRS or nothing, and doing the same role as your regular counterpart in its entirety or nothing?

For example - HMS At Sea wants to send AB Bloggs on a leadership course last two/three weeks. They are not currently on operations, but are at sea around the UK - FRE, training and trials, etc. Replacing AB Bloggs with AB Smith RNR will be a nightmare if Smith is deemed to need 100% of the same training - which prepares the individual for operations. Yet Pareto analysis (the 80/20 rule) will show than most of the time, in peacetime anyway, Bloggs does a limited number of things Smith could learn easily.

Does this help Bloggs get harmony time or the training he needs to progress. Does it help retention?
 
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#19
Not in the real world.

Even undertaking periods of reserve/TA service (e.g. a deployment) will usually have a severe impact on a civilian career or job (or family).

Attempting to switch multiple times between separate regular careers would leave most individuals in a very bad position indeed. For one thing, you'd be left years behind your full-time peers in both jobs.
I think that’s a very old way of looking at the jobs market. If skills are transferable in both directions, then it’s no issue. Plenty of people follow multi-strand careers, changeing career workout an issue.

A segue but why can’t part time work? Why can’t the Reserve be a realistic component of a portfolio career?
 
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#20
Surely all three Services are short of Communicators? So guess where you can be used to best effect?

However, I am told there is work going on (in the Maritime Reserves at least) to identify civilian skills that could be used during mobilisation, FTRS, exercises, ADC employment, etc. I have no idea how it will be compatible with JPA putting everyone in pigeon holes, SQEP issues, and so on.
I've heard that come up several times over the last 20 years and nothing has been done.

More widely, many people join the reserves in order NOT to do their day job. Asking them to go away from home and career for 6 months on a busmans holiday, or to work at weekends on high level stuff will be a hard sell.
 

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