Scots Challenged To Join TA

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by msr, Mar 25, 2007.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

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

    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."
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. msr

    msr LE

    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?

  7. Hear hear MSR, surely the other brigades are missing a trick with this surely.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

    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.
  11. 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)?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. msr

    msr LE


    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.