NAO report on reservists

#1
Only had time to skim this. Finally, somebody pointing out where we are let down by the MoD. The news headlines which have come out of it ‘16% of TA leaving in the next year’ are actually the least interesting bit.

Did you know that we cost less than £10,000 per year against £55,000 for a reg?
 
#2
Glad to see I am not the only one in this boat:

Many Reservists cite personal, family and employment pressures as reasons for leaving but many also give reasons such as “inadequate support” and “no longer a challenge” which could be addressed by the Department.

msr
 
#3
Purple_Emperor said:
Did you know that we cost less than £10,000 per year against £55,000 for a reg?
Does that mean you want to come and do my job for a fifth of the wages I get paid?? Without sounding as though I am having a go, there is a reason that you cost less. We would cost the same if we only worked one night a week and one weekend a month. Nice to have you with us though and we do need you really :)
 
#4
A number of those interviewed felt that it is those units which are led by livelier, more innovative officers that are more successful in recruiting and retaining personnel. (p.36)

So, no surprise there then ;)

msr
 
#5
And something else to note is that we're the same size as the Army Reserve.

We're the Reserve of First Choice - so what are the Army Reserve doing? Are they no longer subject to being recalled to the Colours?
 
#6
Reserve of Second Choice I presume, especially when you look the percentage they had to contact into to produce an actual reservist at Chilwell.

msr
 
#7
And another interesting comment:

"5 The skills brought by Reservists from their civilian life have been invaluable during Operation TELIC, particularly since the end of the warfighting. The Department has hitherto not had systematic knowledge of these civilian skills but intends to develop a database. The Department recognises that it would only be appropriate to ask Reservists to volunteer to use these skills when the Department’s civilian staff, other Government Departments or contractors could not be used because of the security situation."


Better not mention that one to my boss...
 
#8
Mr_Relaxed said:
And another interesting comment:

"5 The skills brought by Reservists from their civilian life have been invaluable during Operation TELIC, particularly since the end of the warfighting. The Department has hitherto not had systematic knowledge of these civilian skills but intends to develop a database. The Department recognises that it would only be appropriate to ask Reservists to volunteer to use these skills when the Department’s civilian staff, other Government Departments or contractors could not be used because of the security situation."


Better not mention that one to my boss...
Very interesting - I wonder if they will actually do anything about it - It was pointed out that they had no database of what we did, what skills we had, to Dir Reserves at a presentation I attended 13 years ago and nothing appears to have been done since. The excuse then was that it was not possible to code civilian qualifications on Unicom. FFS how difficult would it be to produce a database, even if it only listed general areas of qualification and a "detailed comment " box !
 
#9
Trossachs said:
Mr_Relaxed said:
And another interesting comment:

"5 The skills brought by Reservists from their civilian life have been invaluable during Operation TELIC, particularly since the end of the warfighting. The Department has hitherto not had systematic knowledge of these civilian skills but intends to develop a database. The Department recognises that it would only be appropriate to ask Reservists to volunteer to use these skills when the Department’s civilian staff, other Government Departments or contractors could not be used because of the security situation."


Better not mention that one to my boss...
Very interesting - I wonder if they will actually do anything about it - It was pointed out that they had no database of what we did, what skills we had, to Dir Reserves at a presentation I attended 13 years ago and nothing appears to have been done since. The excuse then was that it was not possible to code civilian qualifications on Unicom. FFS how difficult would it be to produce a database, even if it only listed general areas of qualification and a "detailed comment " box !
Someone smack that man hard with a stick for using common sense! The army does not work on that!
It sees what it wants to see and what it is told, ie Cpl X and Pte Y of the 3rd Foot and Mouth, not Cpl X, who happens to be structural engineer (and BTW doesn't want to be in the RE) and Pte Y who is a doctor (who doesn't want to be RAMC).

I do happen to agree with you but in my unit if you put people in the Regiment/Corps according to their civvy trade/job, we would have about 6 people in it, the rest would be scattered to every support arm going. For example, we have transport managers (RLC), administrators (AGC SPS), IT bods (RSigs), Security (Int), Engineers (RE) and so on. I am sure my unit is not alone in this.

What this could mean is a radical change in that in the future, if you were an engineer for example, you would have no choice but to join the RE. People want to do something different, not a busman's holiday. On Telic I was used in my civvy capacity to some good (I hope), but I was sent there as my cap badge, not as my civvy job (for which I would have got about 5 times my army salary).
 
#10
MightyBigEgo said:
Trossachs said:
Mr_Relaxed said:
And another interesting comment:

"5 The skills brought by Reservists from their civilian life have been invaluable during Operation TELIC, particularly since the end of the warfighting. The Department has hitherto not had systematic knowledge of these civilian skills but intends to develop a database.
...
Very interesting - I wonder if they will actually do anything about it - It was pointed out that they had no database of what we did, what skills we had, to Dir Reserves at a presentation I attended 13 years ago and nothing appears to have been done since. The excuse then was that it was not possible to code civilian qualifications on Unicom. FFS how difficult would it be to produce a database, even if it only listed general areas of qualification and a "detailed comment " box !

What this could mean is a radical change in that in the future, if you were an engineer for example, you would have no choice but to join the RE.

.
I doubt it would work - but nothing to stop them pinging people from a unit for their civvy skill. I was on FTRS during TELIC 1 and my unit got trawled for me based on an Army course I had done - they fought it ! - and not for my civvy job ( Senior log planner for a major FMCG, previous experience with moving lotsa containers to the Gulf....) Nope. I stagged on in the Balkans instead.....
 
#12
Sorry if I started another thread on this. I do agree however with almost everything that has been written by the NAO. It will be interesting to see if any unit / manager / PSI takes any notice.

I wholehertedly agree with poor management and also agree that some of the training is a total waste of time and some does not prepare a soldier for a short-notice mobilisation. I have read much of the retention threads and a lot of what the NAO said, was covered in the threads
 
#13
Mr_Relaxed said:
Better not mention that one to my boss...
Not a problem, if you've joined as an Assult Pioneer but you are a civi doctor, then its illegal to be called up as a doctor but if you've joined up as a doctor then its fine.

Can't remember which thread that was from, something about employee protection.
 
#14
On a similar note, has anyone else noticed that if you apply to the TA infomation service and your civilian employment firts into a TA trade then you don't seem to get a local units info sent to you, but specialist units in Grantham etc.

Just for fun myself and a few others from our unit applied for info on local units, using our civi skills/jobs via the TA website. Well I recieved info from RE infrastructure support, 140 miles from where I live, a friend of mine was offered a unit 70 miles away! When we enquired we were told that these units only required that we attend 3 weekends training and a 2 week course, followed by 3 further weekends, then 19 days a year including a two week camp. After a long discusion I got the impression that all they wanted was a number of people not tied to a local unit.

Anyone else seen evidence of this?
 
#15
WhiteHorse said:
On a similar note, has anyone else noticed that if you apply to the TA infomation service and your civilian employment firts into a TA trade then you don't seem to get a local units info sent to you, but specialist units in Grantham etc.
Anyone else seen evidence of this?
Reverse happened to me - I'm a mechanical engineer (about half way to being chartered) and when I applied to that service mentioning this they sent me the details for applying to an Independent unit as a Potential Officer.
It may be that they have a quota for how many bodies of each type per month they need to get or something like that, and direct people accordingly.
 
#16
Following on, here is the Defenceweb interpretation of the report:

Reserves a vital part of UK defence capability
31/03/2006


More than 12,000 UK reservists have made a "very valuable contribution" to operations in Iraq since 2003, receiving particular praise for their adaptability and high skill levels, according to a National Audit Office (NAO) report on Reserve Forces published today, Friday 31 March 2006.
The NAO report praises the successful development of a culture in which volunteer reservists expect and want to serve on operations. It highlights that the training between reservists and regular personnel will be brought even closer together as a result of recent restructuring. The report also acknowledges the improved management of reservists and the improved support given to them and to their families.
The NAO has found that a majority of new recruits join the reserve forces because of "a desire to serve on operations" and that 76 percent of those who deploy on operations are satisfied with their overall experience. Around 70 percent of all reservists describe their overall experience as "challenging and worthwhile" and nearly half of all volunteer reservists remain in the service for over ten years. 13 percent of those who choose to leave the reserve forces do so in order to join the regular forces.
Although reserve forces have historically been manned below their target strength, the NAO recognises that there are early signs that manning has stabilised. In recent months, manning level for the Territorial Army (TA) has improved to 82%, which is a level sufficient to sustain current levels of mobilisation. Recruitment has improved and recent changes to reservists' terms and conditions of service have been introduced to improve retention of personnel. For comparison, the regular forces are currently at 98.3% manning.
Commenting on the report, Under Secretary of State for Defence, Don Touhig MP, said:
"I welcome this balanced and constructive report from the NAO, which acknowledges many of the lessons learned and improvements made since the early phases of Op TELIC. We will carefully consider its conclusions and recommendations.
"I value very highly the contributions the reserve forces continue to make to military operations around the world, where they continue to perform magnificently alongside our regular forces.
"The closer integration between reserve and regular forces that we have recently announced will open up new opportunities for reservists, who will continue to be a vital part of our Armed Forces and will receive the training, equipment and support that they deserve."
The NAO report examines the way that the Ministry of Defence prepares the reserve forces to undertake the operational challenges they may be asked to face. It also examines the cost of maintaining the reserve forces and whether they represent good value for money. The Public Accounts Committee is expected to take evidence on this report in the summer of 2006. The Ministry of Defence will issue a formal response to the report on reserve forces after the Committee has published its findings.
The volunteer reserves comprise the Territorial Army, the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and the active Royal Air Force Reserve. The Regular Reserves are made up of former Regular Service personnel who retain a liability to be called out for operations if required. Reserves perform a variety of different roles in the Armed Forces. Some like doctors, nurses and linguists have specialist skills, whilst others supplement general military capabilities.
 
#17
WhiteHorse said:
On a similar note, has anyone else noticed that if you apply to the TA infomation service and your civilian employment firts into a TA trade then you don't seem to get a local units info sent to you, but specialist units in Grantham etc.

Just for fun myself and a few others from our unit applied for info on local units, using our civi skills/jobs via the TA website. Well I recieved info from RE infrastructure support, 140 miles from where I live, a friend of mine was offered a unit 70 miles away! When we enquired we were told that these units only required that we attend 3 weekends training and a 2 week course, followed by 3 further weekends, then 19 days a year including a two week camp. After a long discusion I got the impression that all they wanted was a number of people not tied to a local unit.

Anyone else seen evidence of this?
Happened to me when I first showed an interest. Rang the info number and asked for details on infantry units, gave them my civvy profession and got sent details of AGC units. Rang again and got exactly the same thing. Gave up, found local TAC and contacted them myself.

Always wondered how many people just sacked it though...
 

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