Retention ideas?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by copey, Dec 26, 2003.

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  1. Having left the regs and joining up with the local T.A. centre I am quite alarmed at the amount of people who "float in and float out" the amount of people who actually stay for longer than 6-9 months is not many and more than 3 years even less. If the T.A can take its annual training (and monotony)to germany every other year, then perhaps it can take it to cyprus every other? surely with all the cutbacks the regs are having there is a few quid to spare? A lot of T.A. soldiers join through friends that are in, more travel would be a good way of attracting fresh blood. anyone else have any bright ideas?
  2. Sod the STAB's, how about getting the Regs to Cyprus a bit more often?
  3. Danglin the forgien carrot leads to other problems ie time of work etc, not all TA might be able to make the exact dates and thus miss their camp.

    Right I think that should really get the REGs goin' :D
  4. Having been around the TA for the last 17 years I have wittnessed this quite alot. In the good old days of training every sunday and at times being away 3 weekends out of 4 attendences were much higher and TA became a habit. Yep people drifted in and out thats what happens when its voluntary. But now when training happens once in a blue moon there is less cohesion and people just loose interest and slip away. As for foreign camps they can be a good carrot but have witnessed a foreign camp degenerate into a glorified beach holiday due to the atitude of regular staff and to the disgust of many of the TA troops.
    As to regs getting to cyprus and other sunny destinations not got any problem with that at all.
  5. Thats it exactly if ta is sparodic people wouldnt come cause a. they get used to having weekends off, b. the money isnt regular (which is very important for a lot in the TA and finally c. they never develop skills so they dont think they are getting anywhere!
  6. Unfortunately 20 years ago, there were three TV channels (four if you were lucky) all of which started about teatime and switched off at midnight, only a few people had satellite TV, there were no Cinema Multiplexes, films came out fewer and further between, there were far fewer "leisure facilities", package holidays were comparatively more expensive...... and the TA had boots, puttees, no waterproofs (bar a poncho), no sleep mats, shagged-out 58 pattern web equipment, and knew it was waaaayyyy behind the curve on kit issues. That, and you could maybe use JANET as a portal to talk to a US computer using a VT52. (Damn, that gives my student subject away).

    Since those wonderful days of yore, a young lad/lass can wander off to any one of a score of cinemas, hire the latest film on DVD or sit at home and veg out in front of near-infinite channels, watch their favourite sport down the pub with their mates at no cost, arrse about on the Internet, take a couple of cheap package holidays a year somewhere sunny with cheap booze.....

    The "Leisure Industry" is hugely more competitive now than it was "back then"; we're competing against far greater attractions. Small wonder recruiting is down, and we have to run to stand still.
  7. msr

    msr LE

    GB, if you want our recruiting plan, drop me a PM.

  8. Gravelbelly sorry but i disagree with you in your conclusions. The problems started with the breaking of the habit of attending by enforced and prolonged stand downs. We wern't that far behind as i've never had boots DMS or puttees cept when i was in ACF. some of my kit was actually in better shape than the stuff i had as a regular recruit like my 58 webbing, sleeping bag etc were new. Now yes there is much more compition with other things but I think that if we went back to the days of 150+MTD's so could train nearly every Sunday the retention problem might become less of a problem. When I was at college i was actually able to live of my TA earnings.
  9. Totally aggree with nurse, if you get the days you can live off the pay (as a student) but most importantly it willmean competency. Noone likes learning something new but once youve got a grasp of it you can start to actually enjoy it, which will aid retention
  10. My old sub-unit didn't have a real problem; we got reroled under SDR, and within 18 months had >10% more attenders (note: not phantom attenders) on the nominal roll. A lot of that was to do the immense efforts of the recruiting team; but then, that's one of the reasons why our recruiting CSgt (eventually, but that's another story) got the QVRM :) :)

    My current unit doesn't have a real problem either, but then students are easy :)
  11. I can understand that point of view. We had been operating on a two-weekend-per-month basis across the unit, but just weren't getting the critical mass of troops in to do the training (and weren't getting the preparation time that we needed to organise decent quality training).

    We shifted to a one-training-weekend-in-three as an experiment, and found that we weren't spread so thinly; the people who disagreed were those who spent 100MTDs a year, those who thought it was a good idea were those run ragged by a mere 75 MTDs per year ;) and the average MoW doing 30 or 40 MTDs didn't really mind one way or the other.

    We did find that training quality went up, and the number of MTDs spent per soldier didn't really change; in other words, we weren't spreading our troops so thinly.

    I don't think anyone can disagree about the "leisure industry competition" thing; but another factor is the current employment climate. The days of the standard 37-hour week are gone for many people; there was a big culture change in UK working hours through the late 1980s / 1990s, and people have less free time, and less flexibility. Shutting entire towns down for a set fortnight (e.g. Edinburgh or Glasgow Trades Fortnights) just isn't done these days, although it did mean Annual Camp was easy to predict.

    I look around at my contemporaries, and a lot have had to make the choice between putting the hours into pushing their professional career forward, and putting the hours into the TA. Thirty years ago, the networking offered by the TA was pretty good; for instance, you wouldn't make partner in a law firm in this town (allegedly) unless you'd at least got a TA commission, more likely a Captaincy. Cue a steady stream of officer recruits. These days, it's not seen as an advantage. Another fallout from the end of National Service....

    Some of our older TA soldiers said that the attendance rot set in once they stopped paying TA Bounty, in cash, half at Remembrance, half at Annual Camp.......
  12. my old unit went at the beginning of 1999 under the SDR- it was a really well recruited squadron- we only had 2 recruit intakes a year, 8 weekends over 6 months before you were allowed to do your 2 week recruit course at Blandford. The role was excellent, supporting infantry battalions, so when they went, so did we....though we were also sacrificed for other reasons! The job meant the squadron went all over the country, and it was interesting work! When SDR closed us, we lost a lot of good lads and girls, and we have seen more go because the exercises in the unit we are in now are pretty much done one done em all. Young lads and girls don't want to just do plug up after plug up on the same training areas all the time- we join the TA for a change, not to get stuck in another rut!!! Also, the annual camps arent really an incentive- Germany, Scotland, Germany, Scotland, Germany......The current recruit programme isnt too exciting either, it seems too much "death by viewfoil" type stuff. We got shown how to admin ourselves in the barracks, then taken on the training areas a few times to get on with it! Even our class3 trade course used to be stretched over 6 months, to give you some good experience, now, its a 2 week course. There just seems to be a lack of imagination- joining cant seem to be an attractive thing now! Also, a lot were put off by the change in Drill Night from a Thursday to a Tuesday- if you get your kit and wagon sorted on Tuesday, all kinds has happened to it by the weekend! And the more recent change to a 7.30pm parade has messed people round too- its a rush anyway when you have been at work, and the half hour makes all the difference!

    Anyway, off the soapbox now!
  13. the unit i was in was an air defence regt that vanished under options. We found that 1 weekend away also worked but when we did 2-3 weekends of different things like 1 weekend on ranges, 1 doing military training 1 doing to arm training it kept people interested. when it came to weeks on end of stand down or training sunday in the garages doing the same x jobs or patch painting vehicles that hadn't been out the camp gate in 6 months thats when people started drifting away. It became pointless trying to plan training because there was so much servicing to do.
  14. yeah offer them the chance to get their pasty white greasy hands on cheap beer and their yours.