Selling points for students

Mr_Relaxed said:
UOTC should be fully funded - it might be a drinking club for three/four years, but when they go into industry, if they've had a good experience they're more likely to be sympathetic to the plight of their staff who are also in the TA.
In what way is it short-funded? I am not aware of a single UOTC which is NOT overbearing on personnel. With regard to attitude to TA once they become employers: I am the UEO who was told by an employer to feck off and don't be so stupid on transferable skills - the tA is an even worse drinking club than the UOTC - he knows because he was in the UOTC.

If it is just about giving them a good experience: what can 4 years at a UOTC do better than a single weekend at Executive Stretch? Actually, if we disbanded the UOTCs and spent the 3 or 4 THOUSAND MTDs per UOTC per year on a series of weekends taking 20 or 30 THOUSAND Students Adv Trg each summer with the ARMY (Reg and TA) how much better would we be at recruiting Potential Officers and Soldiers from Universities?*

Just a thought to ponder ;)

*Note to the above: Disbanding the UOTC completely tongue-in-cheek of course. After all, if we keep them we can always use UOTC personnel to promote such a scheme and hang the extra expense. Would certainly make more sense to me than an extra few £million on another More Pepper TV Campaign.
As a point to note it is only (usually) the first year that is over subscribed. After the first few weekends people begin to fall by the wayside culminating at the first camp.

Come the second year this accelerates until MTQ2 has been passed. They want a drinking club and play soldiers not cram for another exam.

The third year. At last, the proud few remain to pass on those bad habits and drills to the 1st and 2nd years. Armed with a PTI or DIT qual or more importantly the ability to blag to superiors.

That said other than the LEs all the officers in my present sub unit came from an OTC.

Of the 7 in my 3rd year all bar one went on to continue officer training.

Of the 6 POs in my sub unit everyone is ex OTC.

OTC is more or les self culling and so keeps the cost down.

It also delivers Regular and TA Officers or POs.
I'm aware that you guys see this as a potential way to get more people interested in joining the TA or Regs, which I would normally agree wholeheartedly with.

However, as a current student with over a decade of full-time non-McDonalds-style working experience, nearly the same as adult staff in the ATC (uniformed and non-uniformed), and someone who's just opened his second beer, I'd like you to stop raising the competition level. I like students being a load of over-hyped misfits incapable of doing a day's work without Mummy wiping their noses for them.

It's one of the things I'm banking on to make me look employable...
Ok, Ok. I know I've been a moaning sh1t about this. I still think UOTCs are better placed for this and should use this information to aid their recruiting and retention. However,

I think the best way to do this is to listen more to what the recruit wants to gain from the TA, in the recruiting process. We've all heard the stories of a recruit being shoehorned into a trade they don't want. (Example here:

If the recruit wants to gain these skills and assuming the numbers are reasonably low, you can then appoint a JNCO on the recruiting team as a sort of mentor on instructing and lessons. The recruit can be involved with the lesson planning and stuff, then progress onto teaching the same lessons.

Everyone would gain. The results would also be forthcoming in a reasonable short-timescale, which is what the recruit would want to start their career.
msr said:
Mr_Relaxed said:
UOTC should be fully funded - it might be a drinking club for three/four years, but when they go into industry, if they've had a good experience they're more likely to be sympathetic to the plight of their staff who are also in the TA.
This often gets bandied about and every time I ask for proof, no-one is able to actually show me any stats to back this up. Can you?

Unfortunately I have no proof, it's just my point of view.

I'm surprised that SABRE don't have some sort of survey to indicate the worth of the TA/UOTC to employers, subjective though it might be.

I take abacus's points on board as well, but for every individual who thinks it was a drinking club, there's another who decided that the Army (TA or Regular) was not for him, but believes that one of the reasons they are where they are today has a partial UOTC link.

This is the rationale behind Executive Stretch after all.
Points from the top of my head, helped run a successful uni sports club and a student soldier. Longish post, I need to work on the art of being concise.

To get students you really need to get their attention at the beginning of the year i.e freshers week or as close to it, with a recruits course/look at life weekend running soon after else they may get distracted by other activities. On the flip side give them time to settle into the year, else they find it all too much and will miss the first tafs in favour of chasing girls/boys at a freshers week house party or a big union night (hint, get a hold of the ents calender from union or their website).. You need visibillity, stands, people in green and 'friendly' recruiting uniform, a LR or something, some kit? Heck weapons would go very down well although that's a hard one to organise. You will be competing with the football/athletics/roleplaying/alpine/outer mongolian sheap herding clubs along with uni demands.

At around this time of year try selling it as local summer employment, or see if there's a sqn near their home where they can do recruits trg, brilliant if same regiment, not so great if a different one but you can always steal them back in September.

Logistics: Research local transport so you can tell them how to get to the TAC from the students union, some centres are in less reputable areas of town that most would try to avoid, let alone students new to the area and public transport can be confusing at first. If you can generate big enough interest why not run a minibus from union to the TAC and back for a tues night or recruits weekend. If you have any current students there, or a group of new student recruits why not organise a pub crawl, house party, night out, good night in the JRC - get them hooked on the social as well as military.

Comms: some bde trg wing use e-mail and mobiles very effectively, emailing status reports and JI's for courses to DEPO's/UPO's etc, why don't units copy do the same for all recruits or even units as a whole? All you need is an email list and 30seconds to put the JI's or warning orders on as an attachment, obviously leaving out restricted content and click send.

Selling points:
CV Development.
Even stagging on is better than Mc D's.
Encouragement with phys.
Glamour? Well undergrad girls wet them selves more about fit soldiers than burger flippers. Not sure about the blokes and girls there..
Patriotism - some have it.
Adventure - sports, weapons, sailing.
Tours - see the world and actually DO something about it rather than hold a protest.
Be the best, but part-time, do the Army lite and see if you like it or if it likes you.

Mr_Mitty said:
It's one of the things I'm banking on to make me look employable...
Indeed. I am hoping for similar things, what with graduation rapidly heading towards me (as long as I don't feck the exams up).

Dilemma I'm having is whether to mention TA or not. Ok other than being on the committee of an adventurous and fairly successful sports club most of my free time has been spent with the TA. Done trade, several exercises inc TACC mod3, (team work, willingness to work hard, used to stinging nettles), det comd (team work, lower management), some leadership stuff etc but do I risk sticking it on the CV when some firms just automatically filter it out, without listening to me? Alternative is to drop it now, find a job refering to skills in past tense, then join up again once have employment.. yerr right. At this stage of life finding an employer that will help me develop my career is important and I may be willing to put TA on back burner if the price is right, although I would like to come back to it. Of course an employer that just disregards applications like that could be a bit poor to work for.

Anyone thought about constructing a list of TA friendly employers in the wiki?
TA_sig said:
Anyone thought about constructing a list of TA friendly employers in the wiki?
Interestingly SaBRE refuse to release this information. You would have thought that the place to go for new recruits would be known TA friendly employers wouldn't you?
Should we just compose our own then?

I can put my employer forward as being arrse.
StabTiffy2B said:
Should we just compose our own then?
No, I don't think we should. Look at the situation with Huntingdon Life Sciences and any business even remotely connected with them. Not convinced my employer would welcome the attention of the Stop-The-War Coalition or similar organised loonies.

However, I can see no reason whatsoever for SaBRE not to help TA Recruit Teams identify which businesses in their area would welcome an approach.
I'm a third year OCdt in an OTC.

Of the ten third years left in my company, most of us had previous experience with the Army or Air cadets, and of these most of us have been "in uniform" for what must be approaching six or seven years now. I think I can safely say that a significant proportion of students who join an OTC in the first year will have had previous experience with a cadet unit of some sort, and are looking to try and further some of the training they've already had, and get paid for it too! That was one of my main reasons for joining.

Then when it comes to actually selecting which students you want to accept into your OTC, ex-cadets also do well for a couple of reasons. Generally, they are physically fit, and if they have held a position of responsibility in cadets, then they are going to be less nervous standing up in front of a group and talking about themselves. Potential OCdts are assessed for both these things, and I would guess they are probably the two most important tests on the day.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that many people who join the OTC have known about the organisation for some time. It would be interesting to know what attracted the non-cadet types to the OTC at their fresher’s fair. There was a thread in the OTC & ACF forum a while back asking why people joined the OTC. Why did you join UOTC? Fair enough, not all the replies are particularly serious, but maybe it would give you guys something to look at?

With regards to msr's original post, the OTC certainly can and does develop team work, leadership and communication skills, but it only does that for those who already have these skills in smaller quantities. Like with RCB, if you're a complete mong they're going to show you the door, but if you show potential then you have a much better chance of being accepted.

As someone said previously, once you've passed MTQ2 you are entitled to a City & Guilds COMEC Leadership award the components of which are: Leadership, Teamwork, Communication Skills, Analysis and Problem Solving & Organisation and Self-Discipline. Exactly how impressed a potential employer will be by this piece of paper, I don't know. Interestingly though, since passing MTQ2 I've found myself applying parts of the 7Qs and Orders process to scenarios outside of the OTC.

As for improving spelling and grammar, surely that should be something that people should have learnt in school!? If someone's spelling and grammar is not up to an acceptable standard, then it should be addressed through the student's academic studies. To be blunt trying to improve spelling and grammar would be a waste of the UOTC's time and I think some people could find it very patronising. Just because many students' spelling and grammar is not up to scratch doesn't mean that applies to all of us.

(I really hope I haven't made any mistakes in this post!)
What a disappointing thread. I thought "Selling points for students" was going to be about how to swap Air Miles for pert 18-year-olds.

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