Servicemen and the MOD Civil Service

#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
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.
Try getting into any of the Civil Service fast-track jobs if you're not a woman, coloured or a cripple...
 
#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!
 

walkyrie

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
#8
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.
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.
 
#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
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!
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?
 
#15
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?
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!
 
#16
The big bar these days is passing the appropriate C S test for D grade and above.
These normally crop up - learn them off by heart and you're a virtual shoe-in.

1. You are required to attend a diversity conference away from your normal workplace. Demonstrate how you maximise your subsistence claim, and obtain the best accommodation as close to the upper financial limit as possible?

2. It's winter and it's snowing. Describe how you would best work from home?

3. You come into work and are feeling a trifle peckish. You have an extremely important technical query regarding the latest TI UOR. Do you:

a. Set to work immediately and get the task completed, putting youir personal needs to one side in the exigencies of the service.

b. Nip down to the DE & ES canteen, after taking care to clock-in, to engage in some very important networking over a subsidised leisurely breakfast
 
#17
What you are saying Highlander is that you want to walk straight out of one career and into another. Well tough - you can't and neither can a lot of people. Civvy street doesn't owe you a living anymore than the army did - and playing the "I've served my country" card won't earn you many friends either. There is mass unemployment out there (key word here: mass) and there are huge numbers of people who would quite happily do any job you consider youself qualified for for at probably half the cost. A lot of young people would quite happily lose money over it (accommocation, commuting etc. versus salary) just to get some experience on their CV.

If you're worried about the outside world then that is your fault - you should have prepared yourself better and you should have built up contacts or had an alternative career worked out.
 
A

allgone2ratsh1t

Guest
#18
The MoD isnt actvely recruiting at the mo (to the best of knowledge) because of the saving sit has been forced to make. Only in certain cases will people be externally recruited. As a fair roles are being done away with a lot of people are being put in the Civil Service redeployment pool sp that when a job that may (or may not) be suitable for pops up they can be jettisoned into position if it is at their grade. I have pm'd you details of whom to contact as there are instances where there may be roles for experienced personnel. Hope it helps.
 
#19
"Why should posts be restricted purely to the civil service? "

They, like most/all OGDs area on an almost total recruitment freeze and are making cuts in numbers (redundancies in some cases). So all postings are being dealt with internally - and not just in Mod.

Well qualified external candidates might not like being so unlucky with their timings, but that's the cost-cutting deficit-reducing plan.

And there are some pretty major differences between T&Cs, job descriptions, and required skills and attitudes between military and serpent. Trying to say "we're all the same" is far from the truth - doctors, nurses, managers, medical secretaries, and hospital porters are all NHS staff, but they're not just interchangeable either
 
#20
What you are saying Highlander is that you want to walk straight out of one career and into another. Well tough - you can't and neither can a lot of people. Civvy street doesn't owe you a living anymore than the army did - and playing the "I've served my country" card won't earn you many friends either. There is mass unemployment out there (key word here: mass) and there are huge numbers of people who would quite happily do any job you consider youself qualified for for at probably half the cost. A lot of young people would quite happily lose money over it (accommocation, commuting etc. versus salary) just to get some experience on their CV.

If you're worried about the outside world then that is your fault - you should have prepared yourself better and you should have built up contacts or had an alternative career worked out.
I think you are missing the point!
 

Similar threads

Top