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Navy launches new ‘expertise’ program to deal with army recruit shortfall

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) launched a singular, one-year contract recruiting program Friday which permits rookie sailors to pattern a army profession earlier than committing to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) long-term.

“By way of the brand new Naval Expertise Program (NEP), the Navy is rethinking the way in which it attracts, recruits and trains sailors,” a Division of Nationwide Protection (DND) information launch says.

“The intention of this system is straightforward: to cut back the period of time it takes to coach civilians as sailors, to foster the event of sailors who love their work, and to draw those that benefit from the distinctive life-style that the Navy gives.”

After NEP recruits signal a one-year contract, they’re required to undergo an eight-week primary coaching course earlier than heading to both Esquimalt, BC or Halifax for a specialised navy coaching course.

This system is open to these aged 16 to 57, however candidates beneath 18 want permission from their dad and mom.

“After the one-year contract, contributors can select to proceed to serve with the RCN, both full-time or part-time, switch to a different factor, or go away the RCN,” the discharge stated.

“For individuals who keep, they are going to switch to a commerce and stick with it with their naval profession; and for many who select to not proceed with the RCN, they are going to have an incredible alternative, and a beneficial life expertise so as to add to their resume .”

A DND spokesperson instructed CBC Information in an e mail that this system is exclusive within the CAF; there isn’t any equal program for the military or air pressure.

The division stated this system can be distinctive in that it permits recruits to attempt completely different trades earlier than committing to a long-term army profession. CAF candidates normally should select a commerce earlier than enrolling within the army.

“Life within the Navy could be demanding and difficult at occasions — it isn’t for everybody and that is why the brand new Naval Expertise Program provides contributors the possibility to expertise life within the Navy, for one yr, no strings connected,” Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, the RCN’s commander, stated within the information launch.

“This system additionally permits the Navy to evaluate the suitability of the brand new contributors and supply them profession decisions based mostly on their success.”

Army brief 1000’s of troops

The brand new program comes because the armed forces faces an acute scarcity of personnel. Final yr, Chief of the Protection Workers Gen. Wayne Eyre stated the army is 10,000 educated troopers wanting full power. Eyre instructed a Home of Commons committee final yr he is “very, very fearful” in regards to the army’s staffing numbers.

“I’m involved because the threats to the world safety state of affairs improve, because the threats at house improve, our readiness goes down inside the Canadian Armed Forces,” Eyre instructed the committee.

The scarcity prompted Eyre to subject a directive making recruitment and retention the army’s high precedence.

The CAF final yr drastically modified gown and grooming guidelines for personnel, a transfer partly motivated by a necessity to spice up recruitment and retention. The army additionally opened up recruitment for everlasting residents in December 2022. The NEP can be open for everlasting residents.

However the CAF has come beneath fireplace just lately over a collection of sexual misconduct scandals, together with allegations towards its high officers, and has confronted criticism about its new assist profit to offset excessive housing prices.

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