I'd like to join the RFA as an ETO cadet?

_Tim_
2nd December 2008, 22:33
So, I've been considering joining the Royal Navy for a while. However, I stumbled upon a link to the RFA cadet programme and I think it looks like a great path.

I have the requirements they want (well...1 grade off in maths) and I'd like some more information, really.

What are the conditions at sea?
What exactly are you expected to do?
Is there a chance to transfer to the Royal Navy later?
How long do you spend at sea and how long is your leave?
What are the rates of pay like?
How does ranking work for officers?

sparkie2182
2nd December 2008, 22:42
http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.5081

gives some info.........


the R.F.A. have communications officers who are basically systems analysts.
i taught a number of courses specific to the R.F.A. and the maths requirement
is high, so a bit of revision won't harm.


best regards and good luck

_Tim_
2nd December 2008, 22:53
http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.5081

gives some info.........


the R.F.A. have communications officers who are basically systems analysts.
i taught a number of courses specific to the R.F.A. and the maths requirement
is high, so a bit of revision won't harm.


best regards and good luck
Thanks :)

After reading that, I see that voyage length is 4 months. Does that mean you only get paid for 4 months of the year?

Secondly, my maths is good. I just didn't perform well in my GCSE exams. Is there any chance they could give me a standardised test of some sort?

sparkie2182
2nd December 2008, 23:06
there are many R.F.A. members on this site who will advise you better than i can ,Tim.

i think i can safely say that your contract with the R.F.A. covers all seatime and leave..........so you will be paid throughout.


this is the unofficial site of the R.F.A. and is possibly a good place place to find the information you seek.............



http://www.toysoutofthepram.com/


the forum may prove to be of special interest as it includes a sample of the selection test papers used by the R.N.


best of luck for the future...........

andyp1
8th December 2008, 11:48
Have a look at the RN forum as well www.rumration.co.uk as well

cryan
12th December 2008, 21:35
Forget all that,, look at the P&O Cruises cadetships, same length of trip but time will pass much quicker, I was a P&O Boxboat cadet but moved as a junior to P&O Cruises and wish I had had their cadetship. huge amounts of support, modern ships, in port every day, better lifestyle. The RFA (and I know a few ex and serving RFA boys) is longtrips with some ageing equipment and almost no chance of serious career progression. Plus you will spend alot of your time alongside naval dockyards and places like crombie. Trust me live now and enjoy yourself and career there will be plenty time to pay your pennance later in life. www.pocruises.com My time there served me welll when I moved offshore and then on to ROV's, now work on Dockyard tugs so as can get home everynight for a few years. you can always go to the RFA when qualified. but you might as well enjoy your cadetship.

Bill Davies
12th December 2008, 21:50
What do P & O produce out of their passenger boat cadet ships? I have sailed with several ex P & O Passenger boat men and I was not impressed. Good story tellers of what you might expect. I think men who go the route you are suggesting they are pursuing something other than a career as I would recognize it

cryan
12th December 2008, 22:16
there are duffers in every outfit, But I can assure you the majority of the lads I sailed with were top notch, Ultra high tech ships, with vast array of equipment and deadlines that must be met or the cargo will complain to you personnaly not the office. Admittedly there are cadets who go to P&O Cruises who are there for the dancers but they don't usually last long usually up to the first time the four huge STP's explode at the same time at 0200 bacause of a shampoo bottle down the lavvy. However as the young lad in question is already into a career at sea I don't think this applies. As an ETO gadget he would be working on Monitoring and control systems with in excess of 16000 alarm points and 5-6 km of cabling, IT systems of which Microsoft would be jealous, TV systems that the BBC would drool over not to mention Point of sale systems in the hotel and all that before we mention the largest diesel electric setups afloat extensive saftey systems and nav aids, a good social scene to help with the homesickness a young lad might get, ashore a couple of times a week and extensive world travel. All of this I believe would set him up for a good career at sea or ashore, ofcourse he could spend his time between Pompey dockyard and Crombie point lamping up with the odd trip to Basrah with a hatch full of bombs.

cryan
12th December 2008, 22:34
Unfortunateley bill even seamen these days have to be able to work high tech gadgets we still have the same job to do as in the past but with less men and less time and that usually means gadgets and that is not always a bad thing, the paperwork however is! I moved from Cruise ships to the oil industry on modern anchor handlers and found the grounding I had was a huge help, I then moved on to ROV's which is seriously high tech, I am currently Chief on an old Dog Class tug and find the simplicity of the machinery quite theraputic these days, I do know however If my career was reversed I would not have been able to cope with the technology which is I guess my point, I know I would want the best training for my sons if they went to sea and I think P&O Cruises offers that, as long as you don't get carried away by the bright lights.

Bill Davies
13th December 2008, 09:34
What about seamanship?
The picture you paint in your above post would hardly attract a person who was wanting to make a career at sea. I would suggest it may attract an individual you had his mind elsewhere. Engineering skills by and large are the same irrespective of ship type. I am more concerned about the Mates quality and competence. In essence I can see a well trained Mate joining a P & O ship and being an asset. I would not have much use for a P & O passenger trained Mate in the ships I have sailed in.

cryan
13th December 2008, 11:07
Well the lad in question is interested in the electrical side of things so I never mentioned the deck side. But I think that your assesment of cruise ship men is rather unfair. They are as good as any Deepsea mates, good navigators, sound understanding of stability (I never heard of a Boxboat where the cargo suddenly rushed to one side to see a passing liner or point of interest) good small craft drivers as usually driving lifeboats and passenger tenders in anchor ports, Vast ammount of safety equipment for the junior mates to look after, the same anchor and mooring equipment as any other ship, plus most modern passenger ships don't use tugs so a high degree of ship handling is required. I think a lot of you guys might be confusing the life of a Merchant Navy Officer n Cruise Ships with that of an Entertainments Officer or Purser on cruise ships. of course cruise ship officers have to be good at the social aspect as well but that is a good thing on any ship. Remember it is all the same training at Warsash, Shields or Glasgow the only difference is the ammount of uniform you wear or don't wear, Incidently there was a lot of ex offshore vessel boys on the passenger ship I was on (including the master) and they are probably the most "seamanship" intensive types of ships today.
Not sure about anyone else but I went to sea to se the world and have an adventurous career, as factory or office work scares me. I actually preferred anchor handling in Africa and India but the P&O training was the best I ever saw, huge amounts of suport and assistance, modern equipment and a good lifestyle., I spent a lot of my cadetship with people who would not answer questions or show any interest in training not helpfull at all, but if we don't train British kids then we will be replaced by foreigners completely.

Bill Davies
13th December 2008, 11:20
Well the lad in question is interested in the electrical side of things so I never mentioned the deck side. But I think that your assesment of cruise ship men is rather unfair. They are as good as any Deepsea mates, good navigators, sound understanding of stability (I never heard of a Boxboat where the cargo suddenly rushed to one side to see a passing liner or point of interest) good small craft drivers as usually driving lifeboats and passenger tenders in anchor ports, Vast ammount of safety equipment for the junior mates to look after, the same anchor and mooring equipment as any other ship, plus most modern passenger ships don't use tugs so a high degree of ship handling is required. I think a lot of you guys might be confusing the life of a Merchant Navy Officer n Cruise Ships with that of an Entertainments Officer or Purser on cruise ships. of course cruise ship officers have to be good at the social aspect as well but that is a good thing on any ship. Remember it is all the same training at Warsash, Shields or Glasgow the only difference is the ammount of uniform you wear or don't wear, Incidently there was a lot of ex offshore vessel boys on the passenger ship I was on (including the master) and they are probably the most "seamanship" intensive types of ships today.
Not sure about anyone else but I went to sea to se the world and have an adventurous career, as factory or office work scares me. I actually preferred anchor handling in Africa and India but the P&O training was the best I ever saw, huge amounts of suport and assistance, modern equipment and a good lifestyle., I spent a lot of my cadetship with people who would not answer questions or show any interest in training not helpfull at all, but if we don't train British kids then we will be replaced by foreigners completely.

I'm not convinced. The big question is, do the British Kids have the appetite to learn. I think not.

R651400
13th December 2008, 11:51
Young British goats probably not but British children with the right incentive and drive? I think yes.

cryan
13th December 2008, 11:58
Well Bill I believe the problem of British Kids is they are constantly told by the older generation that they don't want to learn, I was always told that "I'm not helping you as you kids have it so easy and don't want to learn," well I did want to learn and I did make it and have a much harder job now than they ever did what with minimum manning and more equipment and paperwork. I have had many British cadets and with one or two exceptions they have all excelled, all they need is a bit of encouragement. Contary to belief we can't go on for ever and when we go to meet Davy Jones I would prefer it to be a Kid who has had a good training and has made his way on merit who steps into my boots as otherwise it will be a third world guy who got there by bribery and deception. thats the facts of life at sea these days.

Bill Davies
13th December 2008, 19:34
Contary to belief we can't go on for ever and when we go to meet Davy Jones I would prefer it to be a Kid who has had a good training and has made his way on merit who steps into my boots as otherwise it will be a third world guy who got there by bribery and deception. thats the facts of life at sea these days.

From my own observations deception is one of the issues I have with the trainers. Some Cadets are receiving reasonable training whilst others are drawing the short straw and farmed out to an organisation which does not have the wherewithall to offer good training.

sparkie2182
13th December 2008, 20:51
before this thread follows a predictable path............

can we return to the topic of assisting Tim without some of the above comments.

Bill Davies
13th December 2008, 21:30
Cryan,
I suspect the practical training in the RFA is better than most and probably better than that found in passenger ships. I too am not convinced in recommending the member to pursue this route. One could say that the training in the RFA bridges the percieved shortfall in our colleges. Whether the colleges contribute anything meaningful to training is another matter and probably worthy on another thread.
As for joining P&O when qualified that is another matter. The best time I had at sea was when I had half a dozen wives on board. More like M.V. Peyton Place.

R651400
14th December 2008, 10:17
I had the benefit of an RN visit when working abroad including the normal RFA entourage, Reliant and Tidepool.
Being ex MN when invited aboard, I chose RFA and not surprisingly found them hardly a tad short of the highly regimented requirement of the RN.
If there is a choice today between P&O and RFA I know what my recommendation to Tim would be!

cryan
14th December 2008, 11:00
Jeez, just trying to help the lad,
Incidently I sailed with a few ex RFA while with P&O and they reckoned P&O cadetship was a better deal. Wouldn't place too much emphasis on modern RN training these days, I work with them every day and I never cease to be amazed by their incompetance and inability to think for themselves especially during mooring ops. As I mentioned before i preferred working in Anchor handling and offshore construction but this is a matter of training and preparing youngsters for life at sea and ashore.

cryan
14th December 2008, 11:14
Appoligise Tim just read your post again and realise you never mentioned ETO as that was sparkies post,(Tail slightly between legs) ah well that might change stuff, If it was a deck cadetship your looking for (Navigating) then perhaps one of the offshore companies would offer the most varied experience, Maersk group have deepsea, offshore, just about everything else, I'm sure the RFA will teach you to look out the window just as well as anyone though, however if it is Tech /Eng side your after then my previous posts still stand. Contary to bills previous post though engineering skills and priorities change drastically between vessel types. Deckside though, a window is a window no matter what ship its on on where your looking out of it, with the exception of driving under a rig or towing etc, but as they say you can teach a monkey to ride a bike but you cant tach him to fix it.:-)

Bill Davies
14th December 2008, 11:24
but as they say you can teach a monkey to ride a bike but you cant tach him to fix it.:-)

Disappointing response cryan.

R651400
14th December 2008, 11:51
Posting count on this thread shows only two from Tim on a future at sea.
Posting 3 a simple request without a single simplistic answer.
The rest of the thread verging on megalomania if not hysteria.
Tim if it is your intention to consider RFA as your future may I suggest a private message to SN member "Lancastrian," someone more professionally experienced and whom I'm sure has all the RFA answers.

Anchorman
14th December 2008, 12:30
So, I've been considering joining the Royal Navy for a while. However, I stumbled upon a link to the RFA cadet programme and I think it looks like a great path.

I have the requirements they want (well...1 grade off in maths) and I'd like some more information, really.

What are the conditions at sea?
What exactly are you expected to do?
Is there a chance to transfer to the Royal Navy later?
How long do you spend at sea and how long is your leave?
What are the rates of pay like?
How does ranking work for officers?

Hi Tim.
Have you considered contacting the RFA and asking if they could arrange a ship visit. Or alternatively, living in York, maybe asking North Sea Ferries in Hull if you could visit, and speak to the officers. Of course maybe visiting a college and speaking to cadets direct is another possibility. Whatever company you go to, you can always change route after qualifying. Lots of officers start in one type of vessel and change, often many times.
Good luck.
Neil

cryan
14th December 2008, 12:44
Not trying to be facetious, Think you are a bit sensitive to the old oil and water jibes, part and parcel of being at sea, trench humour as it were. Tim the best website for you might be the marine society or careersatsea.org.uk they will give you imparcial advice irespective of colour,creed,departmental persuasion etc. remember though, it is the Chiefs ship he just lets the old man steer from time to time....haha! love winding deckies up they bite so easy.

http://www.ms-sc.org/
http://www.careersatsea.org.uk/

Bill Davies
14th December 2008, 12:47
Posting count on this thread shows only two from Tim on a future at sea.
Posting 3 a simple request without a single simplistic answer.
The rest of the thread verging on megalomania if not hysteria.
Tim if it is your intention to consider RFA as your future may I suggest a private message to SN member "Lancastrian," someone more professionally experienced and whom I'm sure has all the RFA answers.

Oh, and I thought I was giving constructive advice. I had a post deleted recently for less than what you have posted. Let me respond in a similar manner.
For someone who does nothing other than follow others with silly little facetious one liners and seems to be immune from intervention I would agree with you about seeking other advice from an ex RFA employee. Better that advice than advice from people who have no experience at all.

R651400
14th December 2008, 12:53
Better that advice than advice from people who have no experience at all. Couldn't agree more!

benjidog
14th December 2008, 13:51
Anyone reading this thread who was interested in a career at sea would probably conclude that they would be joining a bunch of bitter and twisted old men. Fortunately this is not the case; mostly they are just twisted! :)

Tim, take all advice offered by anyone with a sackful of salt, find people people currently working in whatever job you consider going for and ask them about it, make your own decision and, if it sounds right for you, go for it with your eyes open. Most people will try to help you; you will meet a few total bastards on your way - the same in any walk of life (and websites come to that).

I wish you the very best of luck in your chosen career - whether it turns out to be the RN, the RFA or whatever! (Thumb)

Lancastrian
14th December 2008, 14:04
"I suggest a private message to SN member "Lancastrian," someone more professionally experienced and whom I'm sure has all the RFA answers."
I'm flattered by that but being retired 10 years, I'm a bit out of touch.
I have already replied to Tim in another forum and suggested he retake Maths to get the required grade. He should note that the RFA calls its ETOs, Systems Engineers. I'm sure the RFA Careers Office (http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/server/show/nav.5070) could arrange a ship visit.
There are four refitting in Liverpool/Birkenhead at the moment.
Or attend one of these events - Forthcoming Recruitment Events
Events for 2009

A member of the RFA recruitment team will be in attendance at the following events:

23rd January – Warsash Academy Open Day.

7th February – South Tyneside Nautical College Open Day.

4th March - Horndean Technology College – Careers Day.

5th March – CTP Re-settlement Event – Pyramids Centre Portsmouth.

For cryan. Winding up deckies is not half as easy as winding up Jock Gingerbeers.

forthbridge
14th December 2008, 14:23
Tim
You may also find good information on this site

http://www.careersatsea.org.uk/

cryan
14th December 2008, 14:33
oh lancastrian that sounded like a challenge hehe.

Chouan
15th December 2008, 19:37
Not trying to be facetious, Think you are a bit sensitive to the old oil and water jibes, part and parcel of being at sea, trench humour as it were. Tim the best website for you might be the marine society or careersatsea.org.uk they will give you imparcial advice irespective of colour,creed,departmental persuasion etc. remember though, it is the Chiefs ship he just lets the old man steer from time to time....haha! love winding deckies up they bite so easy.


No, we, most of us, don't. We just like indulging you.

K urgess
15th December 2008, 22:44
These threads are usually started by someone in the hope of getting some information about a career choice.
It appears that they always degenerate into trying to put him off or go so far off topic as to be totally mystifying.
In future no posts other than genuine helpful comments will be allowed.
Anything else will be deleted.
Please read the site guidelines about the hijacking of threads.
If you have anything to say about the career not being worth pursuing find one of the other multiple threads that have already been started on the subject.