Select Committee on Defence Written Evidence

Memorandum from Stephen Wildridge

  We have noticed an increase in personnel leaving the forces over the past five years. I would say that there are several main reasons for this.

  1.  People in combat roles feel they could move into a position with less risk after doing a major operational role for more money outside of the forces. They could look to move into different units than being forced to sign off.

  2.  It is becoming common practise and not just within the forces that after three to five years people move on to their next job to further their career.

  3.  This is coming from a more personal view that there should be more opportunity to move around within the forces to different departments.

  For example I was in the Signals and wasn't happy with my trade but some seniors would not allow me to change trades so I left. If when you were enquiring about signing off and were given a list of vacant positions within the tri services you may change your mind about leaving and commit to a new contract and new challenge. Although this may be expensive to keep retraining personnel into new sectors your retention will improve and you will have more highly skilled personnel.

  4.  The food and accommodation on camps is not up to a suitable standard and although this might seem an insignificant point, after time you start to feel that this isn't good enough and you can do better especially as you are paying for the food and accommodation out of your wages.

  With regards to new recruits although the careers centre's and special teams visiting schools and universities are effective this can be seen to be a very bias approach. I have had many discussions with young people with different backgrounds where I have encouraged them to join the forces and being an ex military member they found it very encourage for them to see where I am now and for them to realise that it is an excellent way to set you up for the future and teaches you excellent qualities that civilian employers want to see. I would suggest that you put together an ex military recruitment team that visits schools, universities, rugby clubs etc giving presentations and one to ones with those that are interested and give a completely impartial advice on what the tri forces has to offer and the pros and cons of joining.

4 Ex Military

12 March 2008

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