The Army faces challenges in the current recruiting climate, with Regular and Reserve recruiting of both Officers and Soldiers failing to reach targets, both of which are trends mirrored in Royal Logistic Corps recruiting. RHQ The RLC has been busy with a number of initiatives already producing results and several more on the way.
The Corps Engagement Team (CET) have been putting the finishing touches on a tour of all of the Army Careers Centres (ACC) in the UK mainland, taking place between Monday 7th and Friday 11th December. With each ACC having been contacted several weeks ago, the presence of members of the team has been advertised to individuals who have expressed an interest in joining the Corps, in order that they can meet face-to-face and talk about their future career. The CET will also be conducting briefs to the ACC staff in order to provide them with up to date information about the trades, regiments and commitments of the Corps. In addition to resupplying the ACCs with trade leaflets outlining the roles, responsibilities and requirements of each of the twelve trades the Corp directly recruits for, the CET will be distributing bespoke marketing media advertising the twelve trades and keeping the Corps at the front of the minds of the ACC staff. The tour will be followed by a visit to the National Recruitment Centre in Uphavon to provide marketing media and information on the RLC to the Candidate Support Managers who provide assistance to those progressing through the recruiting process.
Other recent activity has seen the usual Expression of Interest and familiarisation activity within the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) as the RHQ staff and RLC cap-badged personnel at RMAS seek to advertise the merits of a career in the Corps to the next generation of Troop Commanders.
In order to help potential officers develop an understanding of the Corps prior to attendance at RMAS, pre-Sandhurst recruiting is of prime importance and the last few weeks have been typically busy, with many University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) units holding their Arms and Services Evenings. Members of the recruiting team attended The Universities’ of London UOTC Arms and Services display along with members of 151 Regt RLC, who were present to advertise the opportunities available to those serving with the RLC Reserves whilst studying. Also in November, members of 158 Regt RLC visited Officer Cadets from the Cambridge UOTC to talk about Reserve and Regular service with the Corps and Lt Hand RLC, currently detached on an Op FORTIFY commitment in Scotland, visited Edinburgh UOTC to provide assistance with their training and advertise the merits of service in the RLC. East Midlands UOTC also benefitted from a visit from RHQ The RLC recruiting officers, who spoke to over 130 OCdts about life for junior officers in the Corps. The feedback from all of the above events has been extremely positive and can only enhance the reputation of the Corps among the future officer cohort. With around 85% of RMAS cadets being graduates – and nearly half of those former members of the UOTC – even those who go on to Commission yet don’t join the RLC will now be armed with an understanding of how involved the Corps continues to be delivering support to exercises and operations around the world.
The team also found time to conduct the first of it’s annual visits to the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) Squadrons this month, to Trojan Squadron (Newcastle and Northumbria Universities). All of the Officer Cadets at the Squadron will go on to join the Services as officers, with over 80 currently on track to join the Army. The chance to meet members of the RLC and receive an insight into the roles and responsibilities of a Troop Commander in the Corps and provide general information about the Commissioning Course is invaluable to members of the DETUS scheme, many of whom have several years of studying and training ahead of them before reaching Regimental Duty.
The RHQ The RLC recruiting staff continue to conduct upstream engagement with visits to senior schools and ongoing involvement in the Army in Education Scheme, as it seeks to advertise both the Army and the Corps. The CET recently expanded into Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) engagement, by offering practical lessons to Key Stage 4 students that demonstrate the science behind our business, such as linking lessons on sound waves and the ionosphere to the duties of the Driver Communications Specialist trade. This month Captain Dunn RLC has coordinated several trips to girl’s senior schools around the country, including The Kendrick School, Reading and St Mary’s, Calne, in order to raise awareness about a career in the Corps. As with all of these activities, although not direct recruitment, longer-term rewards can be an inflow of soldiers and officers after formal education, but may be a less obvious benefit such as the creation of an understanding employer who later endorses staff seeking to give their time to the Army Reserve.
None of the activities above would be possible without the ongoing support of the Reserve and Regular units of the Corps, who are invaluable in the effort to engage with significant numbers of potential future members of the RLC. Almost every unit has provided equipment and manpower to support events around the country in recent months and the enthusiasm and professionalism of members of the Corps remains the best advertisement for the rewards on offer. From potential soldiers enjoying battle PT lessons with PTIs, to officers and soldiers supporting recruiting events like Ex LOG SAFARI with the RMAS Officer Cadets or the individuals who donate evenings to present to potential officers and soldiers, the Corps is currently making a great collective effort in support of recruiting the next generation ‘many thanks to all concerned.