TA Recruiting Campaign

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by yater_spoon, Aug 24, 2011.

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  1. Having heard the first few adverts on the local radio it came to me that the copywriters have no idea about the current TA and its roles, and is still focused on trips abroad, women undertaking parachute jumps, a sargeant that has only just learnt to cook in the field, and everyone making new mates.
    From an infantry perspective I can see we're going to get some "high quality" candidates through the door.
    Any thoughts?
  2. I was going to start a topic on this as I had seen that the Army recruiting pages have gone very 'TA centric' (Joining The Army - British Army Website)

    Given the high unemployment figures which look set to rise and a lack of jobs for young people I expect we will be hearing the same question repeatedly asked that I heard raised at ADSC from a young scrote joining the LONDONS "Ahh duz dis affect ma jobseekas allowance innit?".

    On a serious note, there are a higher than ever proportion of people working part time at present plus a huge population of young graduates unable to find jobs. Plenty in the past have joined up, crammed in phase 1 and 2 and gone on tour and then handed in their kit, some on their way to a regular commission at RMAS (witness Joe Whittaker 4 PARA/Jack Sadler HAC - RIP both). Certainly my unit's recruit company is full of them, and I get the impression it suits the unit very well indeed as they can be seen to be mobilising a lot of bodies. Very few are employed or have a 'career' in the professional sense of the word below low-paid work, and it tides them over for a while and gives them some coins to pay rent to mummy and daddy. So, it suits everyone. I can see this sort of thing increasing between now and the end of HERRICK.

    I cant help thinking that perhaps effort would be better spent trying to retain these individuals beyond the 2-3 year point rather than stocking the sausage machine with more meat. There must have been a massive net outflow from the TA in recent years to bring the trained strength down to 14,000.

    There is also the wider question of whether this is the sort of person the TA wants/needs. As someone who works in the private sector in a 'professional' job I am probably in a minority in the TA. It seems that the commitment required suits those working in the public sector, self employed or unemployed. I am very lucky to get 2 weeks paid leave a year to attend camp, but know few others in similar professions that get this perk. Even then it severely restricts the courses I can attend.
    • Like Like x 3
  3. I don't have a problem with a recruiting drive - I think a bit more foresight could have been taken with the ad's as they are next to useless, and maybe could have reflected current ops rather than annual camp in Cyprus.
    Oh and leaflet drops don't work especially when the majority of blokes are on camp or mobilised
    They need to make use of social media to get with the times.
  4. What was clear from the FR20 report is that there was going to be significant pressure on the head shed to boost the TA both in terms of numbers and quality. CinC LF has been given until October to plan how he is going to do this before reporting back to the Army Board. The current ads are probably a stop gap measure to get recruiting going again. I expect new material is being generated by an SO2 in recruiting group as we speak ;)
  5. The national TA recruiting strategy seems to be deluded as some units personal ones.
  6. msr

    msr LE

    In what way?
  7. i agree with what your saying the campaigner is a bit shit focusing on holidays and doing stuff that in 3 and 1/2 years i have never done. A big thing from the FR20 was the age of the TA was increasing and our numbers falling i think 20,000 in size with only about 14,000 being active i think they need to rethink the idea i think if someone is thinking of joining and they are on JSA then the fact that being in the TA could effected that is a serious question TA money does not pay well enough to live off however a recruitment drive is essential if were to increase to the 30,00 that the fr20 wants us to i just dont think the way they are doing it is the right but they need to sort out the TA first we been fucked and hacked by past FR's MTD restrictions and recruiting restrictions and it is gonna take time to rebuild.
  8. msr

    msr LE

    Any chance you could edit your stream-of-consciousness post with some punctuation?
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Well, recruitment certainly is flavour of the month right now. The message has come down from on high that we shall be fully manned by the end of next year and no-one may question that. And it is badly needed. Personally I'd allow units to overbear by, I don't know, call it 50% for Corps and 100% for Infantry so that a Bn might actually have a Bn's worth of trained soldiers to play with. Or find an alternative PID bucket in which to stick recruits, the mobilised, FTRS, leave of absence etc. Manning figures at the moment are, as a result, largely fiction and I'm not convinced the Regs get that, used as they are to a different way of counting PIDs.

    But, as delivering_capability has neatly pointed out, none of that matters longer term if we remain the gap year provider we currently are, as that cohort does not stick around in the numbers necessary for long term viability. Where I am there is a huge trough that has opened up between the old and bold such as your truly and the juniors. When the economy picks up and HERRICK ends then all of a sudden we have far fewer bods at a loose end and no tours to go on, so that pool will dry up.

    Which brings us back to the "proposition" - truth is, if you have a decent job then it is very, very hard to get on in the TA these days. If you can find an employer that lets you be in the TA (easier said than done) then you're probably going to be limited to one camp a year, and the rampant course inflation under way means that just isn't enough. But as we're sending people off to war they have to be trained. We've been putting together road maps for recruits showing how they get to various career stages and one camp a year just isn't enough. But that's all you can count on for normal people with normal jobs - the sort we need to build our numbers up. As yet no-one has had the wit to try and tackle that issue.

    And that's not even mentioning the bottlenecks in the training pipeline that will need to be eliminated. Do we need to double, triple or whatever the numbers going through (say) RTCs ? And how will we do that ? (The answer is not to blame all and sundry for not providing mil skills instructors that don't exist, before we start that ball rolling again.) Ripple that onwards to all the other courses and it all starts to look quite a chewy problem.
  10. msr

    msr LE

    And there's your Officer pipeline rather seriously crimped unless we can make an 'offer' to those at Uni with time on their hands during their summer holidays to get commissioned by the end of their course.
  11. ill try but cant promise anything.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. There you go - half the bloody problem.

    We ought to be able to do lots with 1 weekend a month, and a 2-week camp, but somehow we've just made it all too difficult for ourselves.

    Part of this was summed up in a conversation I had with some mates in the US NG. Watching them conduct APFTs at Coy level almost every weekend (done at the end of training, on a 'as needs' basis) I asked if they had a problem with availability of PTIs and training of the aforesaid meatheads. They looked at me rather confused and said "Unit PT is what we pay officers and NCOs for..."

    If there's one thing someone grown-up ought to be able to do, is wade into the mire of courses, bureacracy and 'schools mentality'. And this means getting stuck in personally - if you let your staff do it, you'll just end up getting fobbed off with shite like "The Royal School of Pillowcase folding is mandated as the senior authority for folding of pillowcases, and we have determined that there will be a continued requirement for folding pillowcases, which will be implmented through a series of courses for which we retain authority..."
  13. Course inflation is ridiculous. Two weeks to learn to drive a Land Rover?

    I've just been put forward to do a particular job in my Coy. Frankly, it's a job that you could learn any paperwork for in a weekend at most. However, not only will that be a two week course but there is a precursor two week course to get on the course. As this is meant to happen after camp how can anyone expect me to take six weeks off work? How many employers would give you that?

    In addition I've just been handed a DIE programme that has 13 days TA WTS1, 38 days WTS2, 10 days Reg army WTS, 15 days Hybrid Foundation training Status and anything up to 40 days Mission Specific Training.

    Whilst I appreciate that parts of this would (presumably) be done upon mobilisation, the TA bits alone equate to Camp plus nearly every other weekend for a year. As most training weekends consist of, turn up Friday, dick about drawing kit that should be on permanent issue, travel to other end of the country, Get smashed round a training area to little effect for 30 hours, pack up early and drive six hours back then it will take years to cover it.

    I'm not suggesting it shouldn't be learned, most of it would be considered billy basics twenty years ago and loads of it is just MATTS but the training aspiration and the MTDs / Employee availability just don't match up.
  14. I would equate the current TA with a neglected, speccy and ginger love child (Let's call him "Gareth") who has been locked away under the stairs by his evil Step dad (the top brass) for years, fed with a limited diet of scraps from the dinner table and (in hard times) starved for weeks on end.

    Seriously, it is clear from the FR20 report that the TA, like Gareth, has been left to decay. It is also clear that despite the continued rate of support to ops from reservists that they are possibly less well understood by senior officers in the regular army than ever. Hence, I expect there is a degree of blind panic in Andover/Upavon at the moment as the issue of bolstering the TA is debated. As such, my expectations regarding any recruitment campaign are low.

    Recruitment and retention are two sides of the same coin. Retention of trained personnel should be something that TA units are measured on, and valued as much (if not more) than how many bodies they can get in through the door in the next 18 months.

    However, look at it from the units perspective:

    Individual A - 28 years old, owns a flat in London and has a settled girlfriend of 3/4 years. A lawyer in civvie street but joins as a trooper as they cant be bothered to fill out forms over the weekend and wants to get their hands dirty. Work a 50 hour week so cant always make it to drill nights but can do most weekends and use 2 weeks a year for camp out of annual leave. Probably wont be able to volunteer for mobilisation as their boss has made it clear that there will not be a job waiting for them when they get back. They are a bit of a 'high flier' at work and have a mortgage to pay.

    Individual B - 22 year old graduate at a loose end after spending a second gap year 'travelling' and cant get one of the few graduate jobs out there as there are 200 applicants for each role. Lives with Mum and Dad. Joins as a trooper as they want a piece of the action. Races through phase 1 and 2 training and then spends every free hour at the TAC or on regular courses adding to their skill set. As soon as is able signs up for mobilisation. No responsibilities, no girlfriend and no fixed financial commitments.

    Which individual would you rather have on strength? Individual A will hopefully still be a part of the unit in 3 years time, Indivdual B probably wont be, but will have gone on operations.

    Much comes back to 'what is the TA actually for?'. Hard as it seems we should probably be looking beyond the end of HERRICK here, but I see little evidence of that.
  15. But then he gets in the magic flying Ford Anglia, ends up at Hogwarts & all is well (or at least for the first few books, couldn't be arrsed reading the rest...)