TA AGC, RLC and RSIGNALS Recruiting and Retention problems?

#1
Not sure where I read it but all three are having problems. I understand AMS problems may be difficult to the other two (they count for 2/3 of the AMS and so have had major operational demands put on them).

Are civvies understanding the TA a lot more, then picking the more 'action or adventure' units?
Did RLC/Sigs have the wrong type of people and many jumped ship at the hint of the first mobilisation?
 
#2
Don't have access to figures on recruiting to know whether your main assertion is right, however in terms of your comments regarding mobilisation:

Given that the RLC TA has had two full regiments deployed on TELIC, plus 1 composite squadron & numerous composite troops deplyoed to Iraq all in role, together with a composite troop attached to the Cdo Log Regt on HERRICK, a composite sqn deploying there shortly, and a considerable number of IRs in both theatres, I don't think lack of deployability, or willingness to deploy is relevant in that cap badge. Don't have exact figures to hand, but it would not be unusual for an RLC TA unit to have had 60-70% of its personnel having deployed on recent ops.

Post FAS pairing effectively leaves a sub-unit out of the ORBAT of every Regular TA regiment to be filled on LSDI by a composite sqn from a paired TA regiment. On smaller scale ops, a smaller contingent may backfill.

AMS have seen a signifcant number of TA Field Hospitals roule through Iraq, plus many other posts (often repeat deployments) so, again, I doubt your suggestion is correct.

Don't know much about RSIGNALS.
 
#3
The Sigs haven't deployed in that way, on Telic/Herrick its mainly been IR's.

I can't remember where the first bit came from, I suspect it was mentioned in the commons (from a link on this site).
 
#4
I'm not aware of anyone from my unit jumping ship as a result of possible mobilisation (well maybe one, but he was going to become a special constable instead).

I think you are right in that the new breed of TA recruits are probably more motivated by the thought of going somewhere hot and having an adventure and so would gravitate towards the teeth arms.

Could it be that recruits who join the support arms stay in longer but fewer people come through the doors of such units ?
 
#5
IDONTNEEDAHAIRCUT said:
Could it be that recruits who join the support arms stay in longer but fewer people come through the doors of such units ?
Of the people I know considered TA (@work):

1 went to Sigs in Leeds and was put off by the rumoured mobilisation
1 also went to Sigs@Leeds but found the distance too far (didn't fancy Inf which was the main choice in West part of the county)
Another joined the TA RE
last one was doing a uni course and thought the Iraq war would get in the way of his studies

Guess which one was unemployed (at the time)........

Reasons why people have left:

a. Equipment modernisation (taken out of their comfort zone and didn't have a clue about IT) - we lost a higher precentage of high pay band soldiers. This also applies to a number of new recruits who we are struggling to train up as base skills are missing
b. Bad experience on tours
c. gained quals/contacts and so got a new job (e.g. driving license)
d. new job incompatible with TA
e. Unhappy with the TA Sigs (transferred to infantry)

Seems to be a different thing each year, with the above being in date order (also in rank order more senior ranks first -last one was several 'new' breed TA, although the first problem seems to be making a comeback)
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#6
polar said:
IDONTNEEDAHAIRCUT said:
Could it be that recruits who join the support arms stay in longer but fewer people come through the doors of such units ?
Of the people I know considered TA (@work):

1 went to Sigs in Leeds and was put off by the rumoured mobilisation
1 also went to Sigs@Leeds but found the distance too far (didn't fancy Inf which was the main choice in West part of the county)
Another joined the TA RE
last one was doing a uni course and thought the Iraq war would get in the way of his studies

Guess which one was unemployed (at the time)........

Reasons why people have left:

a. Equipment modernisation (taken out of their comfort zone and didn't have a clue about IT) - we lost a higher precentage of high pay band soldiers. This also applies to a number of new recruits who we are struggling to train up as base skills are missing
b. Bad experience on tours
c. gained quals/contacts and so got a new job (e.g. driving license)
d. new job incompatible with TA
e. Unhappy with the TA Sigs (transferred to infantry)

Seems to be a different thing each year, with the above being in date order (also in rank order more senior ranks first -last one was several 'new' breed TA, although the first problem seems to be making a comeback)

Polar,
Sounds like the guys who went along for a look and didn't like it (for whatever reason) and then moved on saved a lot of nugatory time and effort on behalf of the recruiting staff.

People will always come and go, 'tis the nature of the beast. And its the same for a Regular Colleagues too. People get to certain points in their lives and want a change. What may have been fun and rewarding when young and single changes priority as girlfriend/wife/kids/mortgage/jobs come along. The TA will always suffer this.

I found that the majority who handed their kit in during the run up to Telic 1 were deadwood, and to be perfectly honest, no one missed them, they were bounty hunters and we've survived. Sure, a few folk left after their Telic tour, thinking been there, done that, time for something else. (This is also affecting the Regulars - 20/21 year olds with 3 Op Tours under their belt are signing off).

However a lot of the malaise is fixable at unit and sub unit level. Imaginative, demanding and relevant training with opportunities to advance = happy soldiers. Most of that is achievable within the CoC.
 
#7
fozzy said:
However a lot of the malaise is fixable at unit and sub unit level. Imaginative, demanding and relevant training with opportunities to advance = happy soldiers. Most of that is achievable within the CoC.
Maybe but some things are harder to fix. All the better recruited/stronger sqns Sigs in the North of England all appear to be very close to Universities areas:

These are Manchester troop 93 Sig Sqn, Hull troop 49 Sig Sqn, remainder of 49 in Leeds, Nottingham troop 64 Sig Sqn.

The only one that bucks this 42 in Manchester (but its a big city).

The next strongest group are in inner city/town areas

Some of the weakest are in out of town areas, the weakest ones being in council estates e.g. HQ Sqn 38 Sig Regt /64 Sig Sqn Manor Top Sheffield and HQ Sqn 34 Sig Regt/90 Sig Sqn @ Bramballs Farm (maybe not weak but too many Sqns for the area).
 
#8
Maybe the problem with TA Sigs is that the kit that they use isn't the same as their regular counterparts.
i.e They can communicate very well, but only within their own unit! Getting mobilised to a COMCEN isn't very appealing either.
 
#10
A lot of people tend to transfer units once they've mobilised. Mobilisation is obviously a big part of being in the TA so if the lads and lasses are going to be stuck in a dark office being abused by regular signallers then there isn't much incentive to stay.

A lot of Siggies are actually very clever people who have good jobs in the comms industry. However, life as a Siggy revolves around stagging on, lugging masts about and generally not having a great time. Compare that with the responsibility you can gain as a Pte/LCpl in other Corps and you'll understand why people are transferring!
 
#11
Wench3000 said:
A lot of Siggies are actually very clever people who have good jobs in the comms industry.
If you look at my previous post, they tend to be concentrated in certain areas. (These units also generate more officer cadets)
 
#12
I've actually met people who didn't want to join 42 because they didn't want to be in a scouse reg!!!
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#13
polar said:
Wench3000 said:
A lot of Siggies are actually very clever people who have good jobs in the comms industry.
If you look at my previous post, they tend to be concentrated in certain areas. (These units also generate more officer cadets)
For your particular geography/demographic.

We seem to have loads of Siggies but few OCdts.
 
#14
"A lot of people tend to transfer units once they've mobilised. Mobilisation is obviously a big part of being in the TA so if the lads and lasses are going to be stuck in a dark office being abused by regular signallers then there isn't much incentive to stay."

i am a siggie in my local unit. i am transferring to a unit further away from my home location because the sigs wouldnt allow me to mobilise even though the badge gave us a talk about how good it is and we all should do it at least once in our lives. i am not the only person to be turned down this way. it makes me wonder why news reports say the forces are overstretched when there are willing volunteers to go and why people leave the forces if the coc wont support them
 
#15
fozzy said:
For your particular geography/demographic.
I don't think it is limited to North England, does Edinburgh have a large IT sector (sqn there seems to be quite strong).

If I was correct, the south should have strong Sigs Sqns along the M4, London and in the South-East.
 
F

fozzy

Guest
#16
polar said:
fozzy said:
For your particular geography/demographic.
I don't think it is limited to North England, does Edinburgh have a large IT sector (sqn there seems to be quite strong).

If I was correct, the south should have strong Sigs Sqns along the M4, London and in the South-East.
Define strong?

I think you assume: I Work in the IT Sector therefore I must join my local TA Royal Signals. In my experience, that is not a strong correlation. In fact, I've met far more IT professionals in TA Inf units. Most of the Officers and SNCOs in my Unit are from a non Comms background (as I keep getting reminded during my briefings).

For my 2d'orth, we get lots of Toms from a wide and varied background (IT not being a particular strongly represented civilian occupation in my regiment) and few OCdts (even less likely to be strong in the IT/Comms field).

And of course, there is a world of difference between works with IT/Comms and knows about IT/Comms!
 
#17
polar said:
If you look at my previous post, they tend to be concentrated in certain areas. (These units also generate more officer cadets)
I thought the direct entry officer cadets (in 15 Brig area) got routed to the Signals as a sponsor unit, hence the higher generation of officer cadets? I mention it because I think that may adversely affect recruiting for the unit because:

- Recruiting teams get more than the average allocation of potential recruits sent to their door, so have become somewhat lax in actively seeking recruits.

- Recruits initial impressions are tarnished by the somewhat suspect direct entry potential officers. You know the ones; can't drive, unfit, low score on aptitude tests, shy and nervous yet still telling all and sundry that they are going to be officers. Normally last about 2 months, but leave the indelible impression that Signals Officers are cut of the same cloth.

- Greater efforts are put into the potential officers training in terms of material, kit issue, priority on courses, chats with the CO/OC. Consequence being that the other recruits feel left out, and leave.

- The dismissive attitude of a direct entry potential officer who intended to join a different unit, and is using the Signals purely as a means to an end.

I also have the distinct impression that the average potential officer puts off other, more competent, signallers from pursuing the PO route. Mainly as the weaker POs describe the training as hellish physical punishment, rather than admitting that they are not physically prepared.

I realise that is sometimes much different, if the POs and the training team are higher calibre the story is much more positive. I also realise there is a move to TAB as a prerequisite for entry into PO training, which may help matters.
 
#18
Did a little research and my assumption was mainly wrong, the only area I was proved correct was the North East. This area seems to have very little IT and probably explains why a number of ARRSE/Sigs users have moved South.

I was originally Inf after joining my local unit, I did consider Sigs when I moved to Leeds but their job sounded dull so I went to another Inf unit
 
#19
milkandcheese said:
I also realise there is a move to TAB as a prerequisite for entry into PO training, which may help matters.
I'm nearly crying with joy! (I hope that applies to TA Sponsored Officers in OTC's)

So much truth in what you said.
 

RP578

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
lemonsuckas said:
i am a siggie in my local unit. i am transferring to a unit further away from my home location because the sigs wouldnt allow me to mobilise even though the badge gave us a talk about how good it is and we all should do it at least once in our lives. i am not the only person to be turned down this way. it makes me wonder why news reports say the forces are overstretched when there are willing volunteers to go and why people leave the forces if the coc wont support them
Mate, back when I first joined this forum, I was in a similar(ish) situation to you. A bloke on here gave me some advice that went like:
Forget all this talk of sigs, leave, tab over to your nearest Infantry Unit, express an interest and see how fast your wish is granted. Ignore the whinging, go with an open mind and enjoy yourself. It is what we all join to do, good to see you want to "do your bit", because there are too many who dont. Crack on.
It's even truer now than then.

Reference:
"A lot of people tend to transfer units once they've mobilised. Mobilisation is obviously a big part of being in the TA so if the lads and lasses are going to be stuck in a dark office being abused by regular signallers then there isn't much incentive to stay."
Regrettably a Siggies life on tour can often be a far from exciting one. Because Brigade Sig Sqn's form a large part of the HQ element, they serve as a pool of manpower from which to draw bods for some of the most bone jobs imaginable; Laundry asst, permanent Choggi escort etc. Even those that do their trade (i.e. RS Op) might find that they're condemned to six months of radio stag shifts at Radcon, with opportunities to get out on Rear Link Dets reserved for the favoured/proven bods within the unit. No one's likely to dish these postings out to an augmentees, Regular or TA.

Good luck with your new unit Lemonsuckas, I hope it works out for you mate!
 

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