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Armed Forces: Manpower

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) target and (b) actual (i) inflow, (ii) outflow and (iii) voluntary outflow rate of each pinch point trade was in the last 12 months. (200952)

The following tables provide information on current pinch point trades. As can be seen, not all of the information on current pinch point trades is available. This is largely evident in the Army figures as there is insufficient data held on the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. During the transition to JPA, which was introduced to the Army in April 2007, some data was lost. This data is currently being rebuilt although it may be some time before reliable information is available. Target figures are not available as they do not exist. Not all pinch point trades can be rectified by inflow as the pinch point may appear at more senior levels; this loss of experience cannot necessarily be grown through inflow. Some gaps can be filled by promotion pull but the challenge is to stem voluntary outflow.

Data for previous years is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. All three Services employ retention measures targeted at specific trade groups. For example, in the RN financial retention incentives (FRIs) are used to retain GR7 Instructors (£100,000 for pilot), MERLIN Aircrew and Lieutenant X Sub-Mariner Advanced Warfare Qualified (£25,000 with a Return of Service of four years). Other incentives include more flexible use of Full Term Commissions and the introduction of a Professional Aviator Pay Spine for air crewmen.

Similarly, in the Army, FRIs are used as incentives for Infantry at identified key decision points and there is considerable focus on improving wastage during training. To retain Royal Engineer Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel the Army has introduced specialist pay and extended the course to increase first-time pass rate. REME Recovery Mechanic is another trade where the removal of Class 1 time bars, development of an apprenticeship scheme and the instigation of early eligibility for promotion to LCpl has helped to aid retention.

The RAF have FRIs for a number of trades (fire fighter, nurse and gunner); introduced more flexible manning policies (such as re-engagement to 22 years for selected Base Rank personnel) and opened up Continuance as a way of retaining experience.

Royal Navy

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary outflow (Percentage)

Lt X SM Advanced Warfare Course Qualified

75

8

9

12

4.00

RN Harrier GR7 Instructors

7

57

n/a

n/a

0

Lt GR7 Harrier Pilots

35

51

n/a

n/a

4.50

Merlin Pilots

112

39

4

2

2.50

Merlin Observers

116

46

3

1

1.50

Merlin Aircrewmen

102

22

4

0

n/a

Leading Hand Warfare

1,108

41

189

52

8.30

Strategic Weapons Systems Junior Ranks

110

20

28

14

11.00

Able Bodied Warfare Specialist (Sensors Submariner)

173

23

26

18

14.00

Able Bodied Warfare Specialist (Tactical Submariner)

121

21

23

10

11.00

Able Bodied Diver

136

30

22

8

13.00

Able Rate 1 Seaman

351

15

32

34

19.00

Able Rate 1 Warfare Specialist

754

24

277

98

14.80

Able Rate 1 Communications and Information Systems

375

13

137

50

14.70

Leading Aircraft Controllers

75

44

7

6

6.50

Royal Marines Other Ranks

5,976

9

557

494

5.80

Sea-King and Lynx Avionics Supervisors

348

18

n/a

n/a

5.60

Cat A Nuclear Watchkeepers

217

24

27

8

5.00

Petty Officer Mine Warfare

56

27

10

1

2.40

Cat B Nuclear Watchkeepers

417

18

34

25

8.00

Army

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary Outflow (Percentage)

Infantryman Pte-LCpl

13,740

8.5

REME VM Pte-Cpl

3,140

14.6

5.8%

REME Armourer Pte-Cpl

321

16.8

5.1%

REME Rec Mech LCpl-Cpl

214

36.5

5.7%

Int OPMI Cpl-Sgt

498

26.0

5.0

RE Clk of Wks SSgt-WOl

276

15.1

1.8

RE ME Fitter Spr-LCpl

407

20.0

8.2

RA Gunner LBdr-Bdr

3,370

11.3

AMS ITU Nurse Cpl-Capt

30

23.1

AMS EM Nurse Cpl-Capt

37

30.2

AMS Radiologist Maj+

1

75.0

AMS Orth Surg Maj+

7

46.2

AMS Gen Surg Maj+

10

41.2

AMS Anaesthetist Maj+

20

59.2

AMS Gen Med Prac Capt+

137

10.5

5.8

AMS Radiographer Cpl+

12

57.1

10.4

AMS RGN

263

26.9

8.5

AMS ODP Cpl+

75

21.9

3.6

RA UAV Op (Level 4) LBdr-Bdr

57

47.7

10.9

RE ME Geo Spr-WO2

270

26.2

5.8

RE EOD Cpl-SSgt

500

28.7

3.8

RE ME C3S Spr-LCpl

740

22.8

9.5

RLC Ammo Tech Cpl-SSgt

314

15.4

4.2

RLC P&C Op Pte-Cpl

547

8.5

5.9

RLCChef Pte-LCpl

2,461

5.4

2.5

RSigs IS Engr Cpl-Sgt

400

-0.8

3.7

AGC(SPS) Mil Admin Pte-Sgt

3,557

10.4

CAMUS Musician

253

16.2

REME Aircraft Tech LCpl-Sgt

545

-7.9

REME Avionics Tech LCpl-Sgt

289

4.3

Royal Air Force

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary outflow (Percentage)

Officers

Medical

220

20.90

15

20

2.00

Operations Support (Intelligence)

230

1.30

6

11

1.30

Operations Support (Regiment)

240

10.10

6

19

2.40

Operations Support (Provost / Security)

140

1.40

17

35

3.70

Operations Support (Flight Operations)

190

11.60

18

24

2.50

Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service

130

27.80

11

1

2.00

Administration (Training)

200

13.40

10

24

5.60

Chaplains

60

24.10

1

11

2.00

Medical Support

80

12.10

8

1

2.00

Operations Support (Fighter Control)

300

13.30

21

22

1.70

Other ranks trades

Weapons System Operator (Air Load Master)

450

18.20

26

47

1.70

Weapons System Operator (Linguist)

50

25.40

3

7

3.80

Air Traffic Controller (ATC) / Flight Operations Manager (FOM) / Flight Operations Assistant (FOA)

11,200

26

381

4124

ATC -3.30

1

2

3

4

FOM/FOA (5.9)

Fire Fighter

480

13.20

48

108

14.90

Gunner

1,630

10.40

144

225

7.50

Movements Operator / Controller

860

2.20

34

73

3.90

RAF Police

1,350

-5.60

84

172

4.40

Staff Nurse (Registered General Nurse)

280

7

48

53

7.10

Intelligence Analyst (Communications)

240

16.10

19

45

7.60

Environmental Health Technician

40

16.70

7

9

2.40

Radiographer

10

9.10

0

1

9.10

Mess Manager / Steward

460

7.60

20

42

3.80

Musician

150

14.30

15

21

1.90

RAF Physical Training Instructor

490

5.20

33

21

3.60