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Engineering revolution continues to gather pace as first Faraday fast track Leading Hands complete training

13 March 2017
Marine Engineering received a significant boost recently as the first group of trainees on the new Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineer) General Service Qualifying Course (LETQC) passed out of HMS Sultan.

The 18 month course, held within the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering (DSMarE), has been re-designed to provide trainees with a deeper understanding of Diagnostics, Repairs and Mentoring providing them with the necessary skills to fulfil the current roles of Deputy Section Heads at sea.

Taking on a number of different tasks throughout, the trainees initially developed their functional skills in Maths, English and ICT and also completed their Leading Rates Leadership Course at HMS Collingwood.

Additionally, the course provided trainees with a Technical Certificate which will allow the students to progress to obtain a level 3 NVQ shortly upon return to sea as LETs.

All of the students completed the core technical elements of the course before separating for tailored training in their specific areas of responsibility whilst at sea (Power & Propulsion or Controls & Distribution or Ship’s Services).

Former motorcycle mechanic Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) (LET ME(ML)) Aaron Burns, joined the RN in 2012, talking of the course and its associated Advanced Apprenticeship he said, “The apprenticeship scheme has been really good. There was quite a lot of practical training towards the back end of the course and there’s a lot of information to take in which has been hard sometimes but been it’s been really enjoyable.”

“Deputy Section Head, is like a team leader who will be responsible for looking after the lads and will be able to deliver a lot of the practical elements of the department. I look forward to welcoming the added responsibility, it’s going to be hard work but it will be really rewarding too.”

“I join HMS Montrose next and hopefully I can take lots from the experience and will be back at HMS Sultan to complete my Petty Officers (POs) course in a couple of years as a fast track.”

The apprenticeship scheme has been really good. There was quite a lot of practical training towards the back end of the course

Leading Engineering Technician (Marine Engineering) (LET ME(ML)) Aaron Burns

LET ME (ML) Sam Waller, joined the RN in 2013, after working in a bookshop. He said, “I wanted do something a bit more hands on than just handle books and it’s something a bit different.”

“At around 18 months, the course has been long and as we’ve been the first group through, there have been a number of changes along the way. But it’s gone really well and is well worth it, especially with the added bonus of the extra qualifications that are also recognised within civilian workplace.”

“My career has progressed really quickly on the new fast track scheme. I’ve not been in 4 years yet and I’ve made the rank of Leading Hand. In times gone by this would have taken much longer but things are progressing much quicker now. The additional money we’re paid is also a really good incentive.”

“I’m joining HMS Monmouth, a Type 23 for 9 months as a diesel maintainer. The diesel’s power pretty much everything on board other than the gas turbines so they are really important. “

Delivery by HMS Sultan of this new LETQC is one of several significant steps forward within the Royal Navy’s Engineering programme under Project Faraday and follows on from the success of the new Engineering Technician Initial Career Course (ETICC) at HMS Sultan.

Speaking as Inspecting Officer at the pass out, Commander Richard Clarke, Project Faraday SO1 said, “Faraday challenged Sultan to undertake a complete refresh in career training, taking out older aspects and introducing new material designed to ensure that the courses support delivery of the Operate/Maintain/Diagnose/Repair (OMDR) philosophy both for the present day and into the future.

“Introduction of new equipments and skills has been matched by a greater emphasis on the importance of coaching and mentoring within training. The new career courses also build more hands-on and craft training back into the pipeline and has incorporated a much more ‘Activity Based ‘ approach – getting our ETs and LETs on their feet - with tools and test equipment in hand.

“These changes will provide them with a deeper understanding of equipments and procedures which will enable LETs in particular to be employed in a very different way. They have been taught to operate, maintain, diagnose and repair our equipments and systems to a higher standard than ever before - this will equip them to share a greater level of responsibility and tasks alongside their POs at Sea.”

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