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Maritime Logistics Community News : November 2009
17 NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2009 We live in some pretty exciting times in Navy today, and it is great to hear of the continuing, albeit early, success of the OPLOG PQ. No doubt many of our ‘Op-loggies’ have some great tales to tell following the initial training and some of their initial employment in Talisman Sabre and other work. I wish them well with their Reserve careers. We are indeed most fortunate to have the support and commitment of the Head of Supply Community (HSuC) for the strengthening of the Reserve elements within the branch. CDRE Richards is very keen to expand our reach in supporting the many parts of the Navy that we may be able. In this column I will outline some exciting new work tasked by HSuC which builds on many of the elements of the OPLOG strategy. This innovative proposal now being further developed by DTA-LOG could see the development of small pools of qualified Reserve Cooks available to support minor war vessel operations in Cairns initially, then possibly Darwin and other ports. At its March meeting this year, the Supply Advisory Council (SAC) considered a concept paper which outlined a strategy for enhancing the recruitment, training, employment and retention of qualified entry Reserve Cooks. HSuC had asked for the paper to be produced, given his goal of wanting to achieve a pool of qualified ‘off the street’ Supply category sailors who are trained-up and ready for employment in various key Navy locations around Australia. HSuC is keen to strengthen the Supply Branch Reserve force, while supporting areas of high need within the service. In developing the paper, it became clear that the niche area or strategy of recruiting Cooks could be achieved first, followed by other categories such as Stewards and SNs if there was demand, and an ability to meet the various readiness requirements. The SAC subsequently agreed to develop the concept further, on a trial basis, with the creation of two pools initially – one in Cairns and one in the Melbourne area. DTA -LOG has been tasked with taking the strategy forward at this stage. These locations (Cairns and Melbourne) were chosen on the basis of potential demand, local labour market supply, and the availability of place-based support for training, mentoring and employment. Of course, if the initial trial proves successful it could move to other locations such as Darwin and Perth, and then possibly into other categories. Cooks have been chosen for the initial trial, again based on the potential demand for their employment, as well as the likely portability of their skills and qualifications. At this stage, DTA-LOG is focussing on the recognition of prior learning (RPL) and the need to ensure that those qualified and skilled in a civilian workplace can translate into the demands and needs of a Navy galley, at sea in MWVs. None of this is easy of course, noting that Reservists are generally busy people with their primary employment and other day-to-day responsibilities. On the other hand, we want only the best for the demands of the fleet, so these people must be well-qualified and ready to step into the demanding roles of our Permanent Navy (PN) Minor War Vessel (MWV) Cooks. We are confident that the Reserve recruits course is provided in a timely and flexible manner, and that it produces trainees that are ready to move into the next phase of Navy training. If we can then provide that next phase of training in a timely, flexible and cost-effective manner (utilising RPL as far as possible) then we might be able to have a small pool of trained and available Reservist CKs within a couple of years from start-up! It is also believed that there is a good possibility of recruiting a small number of former PN members back into the fold via this approach, and this may result in shorter timeframes in some cases. Experience from the OPLOG-PQ rollout is that a mix of people put their hand up – from ex PN, branches (as Reservists) and off-the-street. Following the work currently being progressed by DTA-LOG, the proposal is to further develop detailed ‘place-based’ strategies for the recruitment, training, employment and retention of these individuals. The concept put forward is not to duplicate any of the functions and services currently available, but rather to provide better case-management of those recruited, noting the specific circumstances of sailors who are not involved with Navy every day of their life and who lead busy lives. Again, we want to ensure that these people are supported in a way that ensures they are ready and able to support the demands of Navy whenever possible. I’m quietly confident that, like the OPLOG PQ, this proposal will be highly successful in supporting fleet operations and will lead to a vibrant, active and highly committed Reserve force within the Supply Branch. Watch this space – I will keep you informed as the concept progresses. Reserve’s Column Welcome to the Spring edition of the Navy Supply Newsletter. I am very pleased to provide some comment from the Reserve perspective. BY CMDR MIKE FORDHAM, RANR Proud to Supply & Support the Royal Australian Navy BEAVER ENGINEERING PTY LTD 340 Victoria Street, Wetherill Park, NSW 2164 Phone: (02) 9034 5444 Fax: (02) 9034 5498 Email: email@example.com “A recommended Naval Service”