Scots Challenged To Join TA

#1
Here's to hoping this is an even bigger success than last year's:

http://www.modoracle.com/?page=http://www.modoracle.com/news/detail.h2f?id=12892

The Summer Challenge, which was staged for the first time last year, offers young people from across Scotland the opportunity to become fully trained Territorial Army (TA) soldiers in just seven weeks.

The TA is looking for 250 men and women aged between 17 and 32 in Scotland to take part in the series of challenges.

Activities will include off-road driving, military and adventure training, first aid instruction and outdoor pursuits and the chance to learn valuable, transferable skills, build confidence and meet new people.

Last year, almost 2,000 young Scots applied for 250 places and a record 214 fully trained TA soldiers passed out at the end of the event in the largest parade of its kind to be seen in the United Kingdom.

It is expected that applications may double this year as demand continues to rise. For the 2007 event, which will take place from 29 June to 18 August, places will be allocated on a 'first come first served' basis providing that applicants meet the eligibility criteria.

Brigadier Davey Kirk, Commander of 51 (Scottish) Brigade, said:

"Recruitment into the Territorial Army has always been challenging. Since training is necessarily conducted on a part-time basis, it can take some months for a new recruit to complete it.

"Summer Challenge has overcome this obstacle and provides young people with the opportunity to challenge their own potential and gain some very useful new skills along the way."

Jobcentre Plus is working in partnership with the TA by promoting Summer Challenge 2007 to its customers.

Kevin Doran is the Customer Services Director in Scotland for Jobcentre Plus. He said:

"Last year Summer Challenge proved a worthwhile experience for our customers who volunteered from Jobcentre Plus. This wide range of transferable skills they learned, such as team working, added to their personal development and confidence, will stand them in good stead in today's labour market."

Gunner, Sundeep Sood, aged 18, who was successful at last year's Summer Challenge described the incredible sense of achievement that he felt:

"My parents came to see me at the passing out parade and told me they'd never been so proud. In fact, I'd never been more proud of myself! It's an indescribable feeling to know that you are a fully trained soldier in the British Army."
 
#3
msr said:
Last year, almost 2,000 young Scots applied for 250 places and a record 214 fully trained TA soldiers passed out at the end of the event in the largest parade of its kind to be seen in the United Kingdom.
Does anyone know what happened to the other 1,750 applicants? Are they in the TA and training at the more usual TA pace? Joined the Regular Army instead?
 
#4
From what I've heard they took their eye off the ball on this one. The other interested individuals were not contacted after their initial enquery.

The thing that baffles me is if they have 2000 applicants then why not cater for more people on summer challenge? Say 1000 and thus get more people passed out after 7 weeks.
 
#5
A THOUSAND!!! WTF, it's us who's gonna be landed with taking TAFS 2 for the lot of them, with no extra instructor assisstance(?) & probably to the detriment to those recruits in the system already, where are you gonna house that many? Okay so I bit big time.

I do however agree that they did miss out on all the others who applied buty for some reason weren't selected.
 
#6
I totally understand that 1000 is a large number and after speaking with the BRAT team now realise it would be just too big a problem to deal with. BUT, would it not be a good idea to bring in insrtructors from say a regular training unit like Pirbright or Grantham for the duration to cope with the demand?

Why pass up the opportunity to get nearly 2000 bodies onto the books? It would solve the TA manning problem over-night(well 7 weeks).
 
#7
Devilish - I like your thinking. Resources should be made available for more people to join, it's not like the TA is bursting at the seams with bods. And they must have followed up on those who were not selected? Surely?

I am afraid I am not convinced by the 'first come first served' approach. If there is that level of interest, surely the best (most likely to stay?) 250 should be offered places?

Either way, an additional 250 TA soldiers is good news, however you slice it and dice it.

I wonder why are other Brigades not following the example of 51?

msr
 
#9
All applicants for SC07, who respond to either the web-site or the telephone number on the SC07 business cards or press adverts, are loaded onto ARCADE for unit action and subsequent progress is monitored closely.

This was also true of SC06.

Taking our eye off the ball?

Anyone who has read more than a thread or two of Just TA could reasonably assume that there are some brilliant units out there and there are some that are just pish. Therefore, if any applicants did slip through the net it was a recruitment failing generally, and a failing at unit level, rather than one which can be levelled at SC.
 
#10
msr said:
Devilish - I like your thinking. Resources should be made available for more people to join, it's not like the TA is bursting at the seams with bods. And they must have followed up on those who were not selected? Surely?

I am afraid I am not convinced by the 'first come first served' approach. If there is that level of interest, surely the best (most likely to stay?) 250 should be offered places?

Either way, an additional 250 TA soldiers is good news, however you slice it and dice it.

I wonder why are other Brigades not following the example of 51?

msr
Basically because 51 blew all the recruit training budget available on SC06. It's amazing, especially given the current financial strictures that SC07 has the green light.

The real proof of the pudding will come in a few years time when we can compare SC recruit retention and support to ops against normal entry recruits.
 
#11
Blyth_spirit said:
The real proof of the pudding will come in a few years time when we can compare SC recruit retention and support to ops against normal entry recruits.
We can compare it already. It is much better. See various posts by COS 51 (Scottish) Bde, or contact him direct. There are soldiers from both Summer Initiative 05 and Summer Challenge 06 on Ops as I type this.

Blyth_spirit said:
Basically because 51 blew all the recruit training budget available on SC06. It's amazing, especially given the current financial strictures that SC07 has the green light.
And how did we do that exactly? The SC format represents a net saving on recruit training cost, notwithstanding that the training is delivered in a far more concentrated period than is normal.

SC07 got the green light because it represents fantastic value for money for the MOD and because all the nay-sayers and all the merchants of doom and gloom between them have completely failed to come up with a credible alternative.
 
#12
Whilst this is no doubt a good thing for recruiting, isn't anyone else worried that the TA will be swamped with Sweaty Socks?

Are there any moves to do similiar for non-kilt wearing loonies or should I expect menu C to be deepfired haggis, tatties and neeps (whatever the f*ck they are)?
 
#13
soroban said:
All applicants for SC07, who respond to either the web-site or the telephone number on the SC07 business cards or press adverts, are loaded onto ARCADE for unit action and subsequent progress is monitored closely.

This was also true of SC06.

Taking our eye off the ball?

Anyone who has read more than a thread or two of Just TA could reasonably assume that there are some brilliant units out there and there are some that are just pish. Therefore, if any applicants did slip through the net it was a recruitment failing generally, and a failing at unit level, rather than one which can be levelled at SC.
The eye was most certainly taken off the ball on SC06. The BRAT presentation held this summer stated that very fact. It is only after that presentation that we(as recruiters) were informed about the ARCADE system and the correct procedures to be used when we recieve an inquiry from an interested body.

I'm not knocking SC, in fact if you read my previous post you will see that I think we are thinking too small in only opening it up to 250. If the penny pinchers really gave a toss then they would open up their collective purse strings and get the bodies that can really be recruited, 1500-2000 was the last count, was it not?

I think SC is a stroke of genius in terms of recruiting and can vouch for the quality of soldier it has produced, I just think it could be so much more.
 
#14
250 is a managable amount, I still don't think it's feasible to train & process as many as 1000 on a part time basis with the size of the RTW up here at the moment,expand the team, make it more of an attractive posting for JNCOs or, my old favourite, FTRS the job & base it at Barry Butlins as an ATR(V).

On the other hand you could swamp the Regular ATRs with TA CMS(R)s.
 
#15
Blyth_spirit said:
Basically because 51 blew all the recruit training budget available on SC06. It's amazing, especially given the current financial strictures that SC07 has the green light.
BS,

Very rarely do I disagree with you, but I am afraid I cannot let this pass:

We are some 6,000-8,000 soldiers short.

Any opportunity which not only promotes the Army in Society but forms the focus for recruiting new soldiers into the TA has to be of the highest priority.

Whatever else the budgeteers salami slice, they cut recruiting activities at their own peril.

msr
 
#16
Let me clarify my stance. By no means am I trying to demean the principle of SC. On the contrary I feel it is an excellent example of an initiative to utilise new methods to maximise recruit attendance and retention.

My only caveat is, as I say, to see whether the SC intake is markedly different in terms of retention at the (notoriously difficult) 3 year+ point. I accept it is good for getting boots on the ground and fulfilling our current op commitments but whether it is as good as the normal recruiting system, which targets a much wider age and experience range, at supporting the TA's other roles will not be seen for some years to come.

I stand by my budgetary assessment. I would welcome SC style initiatives across the country but formations, especially in the current financial climate, simply cannot afford it. It is for this reason, not any argument with the philosophy, that I remain surprised that SC07 is going ahead.
 
#17
Having personally busted a gut to improve the effectiveness of the recruiting process and being able to show some good results at sub-unit level it pains me to say that recruiting should not be left to units but centralised in efforts such as the SC and the MGY. Bde Kirk and his predecessor are to be commended for their support of SC, perhaps no surprise about who headed up project OAR.

When it comes to "blowing budgets" units are able to waste money faster than a civil servant with an EDS catalogue. Effective recruiting is a lot more complicated than printing 10,000 leaflets and handing them out at a "complimentary" event. Some units can manage the marketing reasonably well, the TA Brand thing pulled a lot of socks up, but the handling of enquiries, the followup calls, the look-at-life, and inductions are very hit and miss.

TA units do not have the numbers or quality of staff to properly manage the process, a few make a decent fist of it, most simply dump it on the PSAO along with everything else. The concept behind ARCADE is good but the implementation is poor, there is too much time between the initial contact by the potential recruit and the letter arriving at the unit suggesting that they get in touch with said individual. Even if a unit was runnning a tight setup there is every chance that the next CO would kick it into touch as he deployed his "new broom" and "setup his stall".

Effective recruiting is a long term thing requiring a consistency of approach and methods throughout , but must at the same time be overly responsive to potential recruits. Accurate measurement and reporting of the key indicators in real time will challenge most organisations let alone the army.

The Royal Marines have a very good record in this area, may I suggest that some pride is swallowed and some skills copied. Might be an idea to benchmark the whole thing against some other organisations that hire similar numbers of staff each year.
 
#18
The other 1750 were squirrelled away in a remote highland glen, had their faces painted blue and white and were then taught to shout "Freedom", with just a hint-ette of an Australian accent. Come the hour, they will be issued claymores, one each and pointed in the general direction of the oppressor...where's your conspiracy theories the noo, eh boy?
 
#19
FFBox said:
250 is a managable amount, I still don't think it's feasible to train & process as many as 1000 on a part time basis with the size of the RTW up here at the moment,expand the team, make it more of an attractive posting for JNCOs or, my old favourite, FTRS the job & base it at Barry Butlins as an ATR(V).

On the other hand you could swamp the Regular ATRs with TA CMS(R)s.
I think you hit the nail on the head there, I'd jump at an FTRS post in a permenant Regional Training Team, and I'm sure there are loads of others that would do the same.
 
#20
GoodIdeaAtTheTime said:
Having personally busted a gut to improve the effectiveness of the recruiting process and being able to show some good results at sub-unit level it pains me to say that recruiting should not be left to units but centralised in efforts such as the SC and the MGY. Bde Kirk and his predecessor are to be commended for their support of SC, perhaps no surprise about who headed up project OAR.

When it comes to "blowing budgets" units are able to waste money faster than a civil servant with an EDS catalogue. Effective recruiting is a lot more complicated than printing 10,000 leaflets and handing them out at a "complimentary" event. Some units can manage the marketing reasonably well, the TA Brand thing pulled a lot of socks up, but the handling of enquiries, the followup calls, the look-at-life, and inductions are very hit and miss.

TA units do not have the numbers or quality of staff to properly manage the process, a few make a decent fist of it, most simply dump it on the PSAO along with everything else. The concept behind ARCADE is good but the implementation is poor, there is too much time between the initial contact by the potential recruit and the letter arriving at the unit suggesting that they get in touch with said individual. Even if a unit was runnning a tight setup there is every chance that the next CO would kick it into touch as he deployed his "new broom" and "setup his stall".

Effective recruiting is a long term thing requiring a consistency of approach and methods throughout , but must at the same time be overly responsive to potential recruits. Accurate measurement and reporting of the key indicators in real time will challenge most organisations let alone the army.

The Royal Marines have a very good record in this area, may I suggest that some pride is swallowed and some skills copied. Might be an idea to benchmark the whole thing against some other organisations that hire similar numbers of staff each year.
I'm sorry?

Have you not heard of OAR?
 

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