Thursday, December 29, 2011

Times are tough, and friends are few?

The R.A.N.'s the place for you!

That would be the Royal Australian Navy which, in case you hadn't been approached by some digger with a funny looking cap, is making some interesting offers.

Apparently the Aussies are feeling a bit pinched.

As it competes with industry for skilled personnel, the ADF has focused its recruitment effort in Britain, which is cutting back heavily on defence as part of a government-wide austerity drive.

However, Australian navy chief Ray Griggs has given an undertaking to his British counterpart, First Sea Lord Admiral Mark Stanhope, that Australia will not recruit personnel the British need to maintain their capabilities.

And to find enough trained personnel to crew its submarines and the fleet of new warships now being built, the navy is also recruiting from the US, Canada and New Zealand.
 Their own sailors are heading for the Never Never to cash in.

The RAN is facing tough competition for engineers from the booming resources industry.

It is preparing to provide crews for a new fleet that will include potent Air Warfare Destroyers and giant 28,000-tonne landing ships, bigger than Australia's past aircraft carriers.

But many comprehensively trained naval engineers deployed to submarines based at HMAS Stirling, south of Perth, have found themselves quickly moving on up to the Pilbara mines after being offered big pay rises and less arduous working conditions.
 To sweeten the offer, there's this:

Applicants must apply for a permanent resident visa before coming to Australia.
They must also give a written undertaking that they will apply for Australian citizenship as soon as they are eligible. This is normally two years after permanent residence is granted, but an exception will be made for these service personnel, who will become eligible after three months' service.
The army is asking for a rather specific lot:

The army is looking for bomb-disposal experts and is also particularly keen to recruit Catholic chaplains.
Odd mix, that, but you're a figjam bombo with a rosary and you haven't got a brass razoo to you're name, well it might be time to go walkabout.

Or, you could just bypass the whole uniform thing and apply for double the pay.

Still, the Oz navy looks like a bonzer go, what with their own TV series and all.

(Not to mention we had a hand in training some of their officers).

Those of you who are dashing about packing a tucker and booking a Qantas flight should practice this.


Edstock said...

That's why the US Navy has been working on increasing automation and reducing the crew size on existing ships and designing new ships with minimal crew size from the get-go.

Rev.Paperboy said...

thinking of signing on as an admiral Dave?

Boris said...

Reminds me of what happend in the late 1990s and early 00s to the British Army was suffering a shortage of troops, particularly in the infantry regiments. It was easy to find spots as a Commonwealth citizen.

Now the RN is being cut in ships and sailors, the RCN and RAN have new ships in the works, and they don't have enough sailors to effectively crew its existing ones. Might Canada do something similar to the Aussies and try to pick up those struck-off Brits?

I think there also might be something to say about the appeal of military life to people today. The job sometimes includes an incredible amount of downtime when there's no training or operations. Beer fills in the gaps and morale erodes and private sector jobs for the skilled and impatient start to look lucrative.

I wonder if the the full-time nature of the job works against retention rates? Would it be more effective and/or lucrative to increase the ratio of reserve to regular trained sailors in such a way that would allow members to take advantage of civilian jobs and pay but still be ready for courses and deployments?

Dave said...

Admirals' positions are so highly overrated. :)

I don't know if the RCN could manage a part-time plan. Right now the reserve strength can't meet the demand either.