MoD Skills shortage and PAC report

4(T)

LE
A segue but why can’t part time work? Why can’t the Reserve be a realistic component of a portfolio career?

I'm not being facetious, but have you actually tried it?

I struggled on with a reserve commitment for years, with hindsight deeply regretted the valuable time and money I'd lost to a very ungrateful and unrewarding system. Pretty much everyone i know from the same background came to the same conclusion. Its not coincidence that reserve recruiting and retention is bad.

I think the fundamental problem is that a reserve career stream is general immiscible with civilian life - networking, residence, family, administration, working practices are on different sides of a fence. That is not the case between comparable civilian roles.

In terms of "portfolio", lets not beat about the bush and face up to the fact that service experience on a CV is these days often seen in a negative light, or at least as something alien and of meaningless or unrecognised value. Service experience, being rather specialised and unique, arguably does not contribute to overall civilain "career" in the same way that multiple civilian roles do.

A fundamental problem is that the MoD/government is not a flexible employer, and is not prepared to invest in the sort of T&C that would compensate for the negative aspects to an individual of dipping into periods of service employment. Essentially that is because the government is attempting to have an Army without paying for it.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
More widely, many people join the reserves in order NOT to do their day job.
Some especially ex regs join to do something different. The worst bit of my first few weeks was fighting of the PSI's who all wanted me to join their specialist platoons. Frankly it was one of the reasons why I fancied the RE but locally it was on bomb disposal so pretty shit really.
If we had been lucky enough to have a yeomanry regt close by I would have joined.
I certainly wouldn't have joined the RCT railway Sqn. 72 hours a week at work was bad enough!
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
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?
Experience from a smallish subset (myself and friends) suggests that Reserve service is at best seen as a distraction, and at worst as a significant negative, by many civilian employers (including some in the defence-related sector). Very few places - outside "civilian support to the military", and even that's not guaranteed - consider it any sort of benefit.

Also, how many skills learned in the Reserve really are valued and transferable to civvystrasse? After all, haven't a lot of the "civilians can do this pretty well" tasks have been outsourced or contractorised...
 

jim30

LE
Experience from a smallish subset (myself and friends) suggests that Reserve service is at best seen as a distraction, and at worst as a significant negative, by many civilian employers (including some in the defence-related sector). Very few places - outside "civilian support to the military", and even that's not guaranteed - consider it any sort of benefit.

Also, how many skills learned in the Reserve really are valued and transferable to civvystrasse? After all, haven't a lot of the "civilians can do this pretty well" tasks have been outsourced or contractorised...
I keep asking people recruiting for the military 'what is the world class leadership skills training on offer and how does it differ from plenty of training courses that you can put people on without fear of them going AWOL for 6 months. At this point they usual mumble something and go on to talking about shirt sleeves rolled up or down...
 

Yokel

LE
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.
As opposed to weekend of death by Powerpoint and endless briefs? I know - cheapshot. But people do want to go to sea. My family circumstances (carer) frustrate me in that there is currently a tasty opportunity for my specialisation, but unless/unless Mum makes more progress....

But I did support an exercise this year, and the CPO said "you should do this at sea".
 

HE117

LE
I spent roughly half my military career as reg and half as TA/Reserve.. I think I was pretty lucky in that I managed to stay in a fairly unique subject area (ammunition), because I wanted to, although it did me no favours career wise..

The problem with skills management is that it is difficult and that it relies on trust and a degree of consistency. In many modern organisations, there is only a loose association between skill and competency and very often the task of developing and nurturing skills is left to the ignorant and incompetent. In many situations the role of the "skilled" is to pick up the mess left by the incompetents. As a result, there is a fear of those with knowledge and competency by those who lack it and a mistrust of incompetents by those who seem always to have to clear up the mess..

There has always been a default setting where G3 trumps G4 and Regular overrules Reserve. This is all fine and dandy when there is nothing actually going on and the need for coordinated activity and mutual support can be safely ignored. However, the reality of the situation when actual bullets are flying and activity is real is that G3 is totally dependent on G4 and that once your boots are on the ground, everyone is on the same side!

As I have pointed out many times on this site, the issue is mostly down to overweening interference by the MOD and the effects of imposing entirely inappropriate civil and human rights legislation on a organisation which cannot operate effectively under it. It has been so damaging that I am quite prepared to accept that it represents a deliberate attempt at weakening the defence of the realm..

I think that is called Treason?
 

Robme

LE
I’m not that sure that MOD high command has thought through recruiting and retention with any level of reality. When I left the regs, I joined the TA for 2.5 years, it was made clear once I was trained up that if I wanted to transfer to the Regs in the same trade/skill set that would be straight forward. However if I wanted to join up in something else ie Chef, Tankers, Sigs, Medic and so on then that would mean me applying from day 1 (I was knocking at the door of 40 at this time) and in which case they would unwilling to see me re-join.
Methinks that Head Shed, don’t have the understanding to make the leap of faith required, which by the way was why Crapita were given the nod to fook up in the first place.
 

HE117

LE
Eh?

Press the button again mate.. the thread's been dead for over a year...!
 

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