Whats stopping TA recruits from getting to ATU? AFCOs?

Discussion in 'Army Reserve' started by Bravo_Bravo, Nov 4, 2012.

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  1. Heard today that the headcount for Weekend 1 at the largest ATU i the UK totalled 18. Last weekend 1 saw 37; this time last year the intakes exceeded 90 on one occasion.

    Talking to some of the Visiting Instructors it seems, anecdotally, that one major reason for this is AFCOs ( who are now heavily involved in the TA Recruit process) are prioritising Regular recruits for their ASLS dates, for reasons that are, to be honest, understandable given that most AFCOs are staffed by Regulars.*

    Add in the delays in getting medical details and you can see why numbers have fallen off a cliff.

    Has anyone else heard anything like this? Is appointing Capita really going to improve this woeful state of affairs? Am I the only person wondering how anyone can possibly expect an uplift of 30,000?

    * I have been told this, but have not verified it myself.
  2. They can't. There is no workable recruitment process - this should be alarming but everyone seems happy to mutter something about Glasgow and carry on. Six months to acquire service records is unacceptable and frankly laughable, six ******* weeks would be seen as inefficient in another sector. I hate to say it but the soldiers staffing AFCO's are largely unfit for role and at times plain ******* incompetent - and that was my experience with Regular recruitment, the level of apathy shown for aspirant TA bods is off the ******* chart.
  3. We are having to work hard to get our recruits anywhere near the ATU's, but it would be wrong to place the all the blame with the AFCO's.
    In working with our local AFCO we do appear to be seeing some results, the issue as far as I can tell is the cluster that is the medical process, this takes far too long, and makes little sense to anyone save those who profit from the contract!

    The Army in general appear to have a rather arrogant approach to the younger generation, i.e. if they want it and are committed then they will wait, this may have been the case back in the day, but generation “Z” i.e. the current cohort of potential recruits want it now, they will not wait the inordinate amount of time it takes to complete the end to end recruiting process, as CamNostos states 6 weeks would indeed be deemed inefficient in any other sector.
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  4. Lack of fat minibus drivers
  5. Nope, still got one or two of them, fat they may be, but they hold the holy grail that is the Cat D !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  6. Is the "Weekend 1" you're referring to "TAFS" or are we talking about "RT1?" (It's been a while)

    When I joined in the mid-2000's I had nothing to do with AFCO. Bn HQ dealt with me from the very beginning - from introduction evening to RT1 took 2 months, which in my eyes was bloody quick.
    I don't understand why AFCO would need to get involved, other than at the initial "enquiry" stage :???:
  7. Sadly, that happy state has gone.
  8. As a Civi Recuiter and Mil, I would say give it time for Capitia to hang themselves. Yes the rec process needed a drastic overhall, however sometimes the "machine" forgets what matters 1st impressions not only count, but last (TA or Reg Cough...one Army!

    Cap will start to feel the pain, when the stage payments start to dry up.
  9. This summer I decided to join the TA, I'd just finished my first year of university and was living at home over the summer. I first applied online (early august ) as I couldn't travel to the unit closest to my university and apply in person. When I went back to uni in early September I hadn't heard anything so I went to the local AFCO. The Reg Corporal I spoke to pretty much said the online system was cack and to fill out another application form there which he would then pass on to the TA guy who comes through once a week and sorts the TA recruits.

    About a week later I get an email telling me to call a number an arrange an interview. Turns out the company i was instructed to arrange an interview with was 80 miles away, as opposed to the company just down the road.

    Eventually I got in touch with unit I want to join direct and was told they would send me a third application form to fill in, I should then send it directly back and then an interview would be arranged. This happened a week ago and still no forms.

    In hindsight I should have contacted the unit straight away but still, I'm beginning to wonder if the application process is more a test of patience and initiative. I.e. too many recruits dropping out phase 1 and taking up resources, let's just f*ck them about when they're trying to apply, that'll weed out the ones that don't really want to be here.
  10. Why do recruits for the TA even go to a regular recruiting office. Doesn't make an ounce of sense.
  11. These tales of woe sound spookily like my experience a little over a decade ago; i.e. not good but I was keen enough to stick it out. These days I'd be more inclined to tell them where to stick it.

    At my unit, RHQ has stumped up sufficient MTDs to provide a 'regular' recruiter at our TAC and this seems to have made a big difference in bodies through the door, if not in those completing training and making it onto strength. Rather than having to visit the regular recruiting office once a week to sweep up any potential recuits, they simply phone us up and then send the recuits to us. It also means that we have someone constantly dealing with the process, from issuing forms to arranging medicals and transport, and screwing records out of Glasgow.
  12. It's an Armed Forces place, not just Regular recruiting.
  13. So what do potential TA recruits in sizable towns WITHOUT an Army Careers Office do..?

    The whole trip to an ACO is a waste of time and effort and comes across as just a shield to block TA recruits.
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  14. Recruiting is always a difficult one to get right.. Amongst the many causes of difficulty i have seen the following..

    1. An unwillingness to accept the current reality as seen by the target audience. You have to offer something attractive to someone to recruit them. This is often a lifestyle rather than the money. I would suggest that the people making the offer have no idea, or are unwilling to agree to the offer that will bring the right people in.

    2. Centralised recruiting, whilst offering apparant short term savings in resources, is usually much less effective than recruting close to the point of use. It makes as much sense using the same people to recruit the Corps de Ballet for Sadler's Wells and bricklayers for Wimpy.

    3. The real problem is retention, not recruiting. What we are seriously appalling at is getting folk off the street into uniform and keeping them there. The wasteage rate is astounding - in the 90% bracket, and the costs have been huge. The min reasons for folk jacking it in are:

    a. Delays in processing: This covers amost every step.. The response rate to enquiries, processing paperwork, medicals, security vetting, kit issue is truly appalling..

    b. Poor selection: Recruters playing number games, poaching, CO interference, paternalism etc.. If you do not put the right peg into the the right hole they will not fit. Too often, a recruiter will grab or discard someone based on their current numbers requirement or the narrow view of their trade or capbadge. I am also highly suspicious of some of the medical critera being used at the moment to reject folk. In particular the "asthma" saga and some of the orthopaedic and BMI hoops that are being set. Not everyone needs to be a ninja pilot.. Cooks absorb fat as part of their working process..

    c. Recruit training problems: The recruit training process is probably one of the areas where centralisation is a REALLY bad idea. Whatever anyone says about "Soldier First" the "one hat fits all" solution seems not to work. Even in wartime, we did not do this. I give you Deepcut as an example of where mixing different cultures in a recruit organisation does not work.. Although it should not happen, recruit training is an area which can attract entirely the wrong sort of individual for all the wrong reasons..

    The above applies to all service recruiting... When you apply it to reserves it is even worse...
  15. What I find the most disconcerting in this is that there are some very sensible ideas here and on many other threads over the years. Those still serving have many oportunities to put it to those above and arround, so who is not listening. It cannot just be the preserve of this site for theses discussions to be had. Lessons learned, ignored or just not going to get the listener the right promotion? This is a sad state of afairs if we want to boost numbers and quality especially the quality.