Servicemen and the MOD Civil Service

Discussion in 'Jobs Offered' started by highlander363, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. I am coming to the end of my military career but still believe that I have more to give my country and would like to do so serving alongside the Servicemen and women who I have worked with for the last 39 years.

    As I can no longer do it in uniform, I decided to look at employment within the MoD as a civil servant to help me achieve a number of personal goals, namely further employment (I too have a family to support) and to use the skills and training I have learnt during my career to support the Services.

    I have since been informed that the MoD has taken the decision not to allow any external applications for current vacant, or soon to become vacant, Military Support Function (MSF) Civil Service posts.

    These roles are usually filled by those who have an affiliation to the unit they are supporting (such as regimental secretary) or have particular experience and skill sets that make them ideally suited to the responsibilities of the posts.

    I personally know that a number of these positions have been advertised again and again internally within the Civil Service but have not been filled because those who apply lack sufficient knowledge or are not seen as suitable.

    When told this, the powers that be inform the unit to look again internally, offering training, until such time as they do find a worthy candidate.

    The organisation and the people it serves is therefore penalised twice – once while the post is vacant and again by filling it with someone who lacks the level of skill and knowledge required.

    I can understand why certain members of the Civil Service would believe this practice is acceptable and fully support it, but it does smack of protectionism.

    If any civil servant wished to join the military they just have to visit the nearest Armed Forces Careers Office and apply. The same, however, is no longer true for a serving member, or ex-member, who wishes to join the Civil Service and work for the MoD.

    Where is the “best person for the job” ethos or is it always to be “the best person for the job (as long as it’s a civil servant)”?

    This decision has effectively removed the opportunity for a serving or ex-member of the Armed Forces, or indeed the general public, to compete in an open contest for any appointment.

    I am not sure if this practice is legal and compliant with employment law but I personally believe that this is a further degradation of the Military Covenant between the MoD and the Armed Forces.

    How can the department and its ministers look us in the face and tell us that they greatly value our service and experience (as they often do) if they will not allow us to openly compete for positions within the Civil Service where they know that the same service and experience can be used to best effect?

    The posts are still there, are still needed and are still being advertised.

    Come on MoD, if you honestly believe what you tell us at least give us a fighting chance and allow us to apply.
  2. Try getting into any of the Civil Service fast-track jobs if you're not a woman, coloured or a cripple...
  3. Good points and sound arguments but MOD is cutting 25% of the civvies that it has now so recruiting more is not really on the cards
  4. Highlander don't give up completely there will be many RO/MSF leaving in the next couple of years and a very few might get to stage 4 external recruitment. The big bar these days is passing the appropriate C S test for D grade and above.
  5. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than become a Civil Servant but, there you go...

    Remember that if you do want to apply you have to write it all in CS speak - "competancies" etc. I know of a sift board for a camp comedian type job where a number of ex QMs were not even considered - the CS who ran the sift board told me he had no idea what a QM did and could not understand most of the acronyms in the CVs - the military element in the HQ had to intervene to prevent the job being re-advertised for "lack of suitable applicants".
  6. To the original poster - you have not been given the full picture.
    It is true that the civil service has been restricted to filling posts from within. It is nonsense to make drastic cuts, reorganise on a national scale and run early release schemes, but also recruit more at the same time.

    But this does not stop external recruiting once those avenues have been exhausted. It no longer goes to external recruitment by default. This is when further training is considered - but that should have also been considered at the earlier stages.
    If a post is essential and it has not been possible to fill internally then it should and does gt advertised externally

    Search for CS jobs on the Internet and register / start applying.
    Depending on what you are after, also consider applying for the 'service industries' that are contracted to the MoD. You can then still work alongside the services.

    The armed services are also making cuts, but still recruiting. This does make sense as due to the nature of these services they won't continue to be effective if there is a hole in the 'generations' which will impact in a few years - if not sooner

    An important factor to remember is that the purpose of the armed services is not to train future civil servants to support the armed services.

    Some of the other posts seem to show idiocy. If the applications from QMs had too many military acronyms etc then probably one of two circumstances apply -
    The QMs should not have relied on acronyms / military terms if not relevant, or. Inside red someone may not understand
    Or for the job concerned it was very relevant and the recruiter should have researched or consulted someone who will understand.
    If a military type intervened then presumably the latter took place and they were consulted - otherwise how would they know to intervene?
  7. Hi Tommika, Thanks for your contribution, my real point here is not about Civil Service Recruiting or how they recruit during this period of reduction etc. It's mainly about a point of principle! My strongly held view for many years has been that Servicemen and Women should be allowed by default to apply for suitable civil servants posts provided they have either the right qualifications or in the case of certain MSF Posts, the right experience and a proven track record. Why should posts be restricted purely to the civil service? We too are public servants in uniform, we already work for the department just in a different guise. We are effectively Civil Servants in a different form! I know many will baulk at this description but if you stop to think about it for a moment you will see that the only difference between Civil Servants and Service Personnel is that Service personnel wear uniforms and many of us have to perform arduous duties and combat and some have to make the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives. All the more reason in my opinion that we should be allowed to apply for Civil Service vacancies as a right, not as a last resort once 'internal' procedures have been exhausted!
  8. walkyrie

    walkyrie Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    I won't profess to know anything of the civil service, but I have seen some of these roles listed on JobSite and Monster (Regimental Secretary, Curator of Regimental Museum etc) - so perhaps someone has finally seen the light?
  9. Yes - on that point of the services as a whole I agree
    The most recent changes now equalise all the different civil service departments, so jobs I am currently advertising are at stage 0 in the mod, if not filled they will progress out to any government department. But serving and ex military won't get look in at any point, unless they are ex and are currently in the CS

    in these cases specialism doesn't come in to it, there are ones that I forsee problems getting people due to locations but the odds of me getting to do externals are basicly zero

    The problem you have is your experience today won't be sought out except for very few jobs that need the experience and get that far. The managers will have to push a lot to get that far
  10. MSF or jobs for the boys I agree that ex mil bring a lot to the job but how many 60 year old C2 MSF are out there just marking time waiting to retire and are stuck in the old ways of the Army? And have zero experience of the civilian world and how to manage contracts etc.
    I am ex army and gave up trying to go MSF and came in to the civil service at the bottom.
    When I first started I was at a meeting and over heard a chap from my office tell a contractor that I was not one of THEM ie ex officer now that really griped my poo poo.
    But recruiting is still going on externally just not a lot of it.
    Try Abby Wood on the net they are always crying out for people.
  11. I joined the CS about 14 years ago after 27 years in the Army when jobs were a-plenty and I agree with most posters here that getting a CS job today is like finding a whole suitcase of rocking- horse shit masquerading as gold.

    As Tommikka says "It is nonsense to make drastic cuts, reorganise on a national scale and run early release schemes, but also recruit more at the same time."

    The comments about QM's not realising that someone would have difficulty understanding acronyms beggers belief - did they not go on a resettlement course advising them how to write a CV? If not, more fool them.
  12. dockers

    dockers Old-Salt Book Reviewer


    Have you looked at ?

    Its the civil service vacancy page, where I believe all CS jobs are now advertised. There's at least one MSF post and there may be others that fit your skill set.
  13. Hi Dockers, Yes I'm already registered on that website but the only advantage of that is that I can see which jobs are being advertised, I am still unable to apply for any of them until they are thrown open to the general public! So you see my point is that as a serving member about to be a non-serving member should have the 'right' to apply for these jobs in free and open competition with Civil Service colleagues!
  14. In your first post you say “Where is the “best person for the job” ethos or is it always to be “the best person for the job (as long as it’s a civil servant)”?”

    Now you are saying that it should be the best civil servant or ex-military for the job.

    As pointed out by others, the civil service is cutting numbers and is trying to do that by natural wastage. Hence, it is only going to recruit if it cannot fill a post internally.

    Are you suggesting that civil servants should be made redundant, so that you can have a job?
    • Like Like x 1
  15. No, I'm saying no such thing! What I'm saying is that servicemen or women should not have to wait until vacancies are thrown open to the public before they can apply, what I'm saying is that we are just as much crown servants as the civil servants are, what I'm saying is that it's not a fair system!