The Institute of Vehicle Recovery (IVR) has confirmed that in December 2015 it signed a three year contract with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to carry out training and accreditation of REME recovery mechanics.
Training will begin in 2016 when ten REME instructors will be trained to civilian recognised standards and receive the ITSSAR CAT 1 instructor’s qualification. The Core Modules will then be integrated into military training and new recruits undergoing basic recovery training will be instructed on VR1 Health and Safety, VR2 Customer Service Skills and VR3 Roadside Assessment by these military instructors. This is the first step in ensuring military personnel can acquire civilian recognised qualifications throughout their Army career, enabling them to leave the military with qualifications which are recognised by the recovery industry. Prior to this initiative a soldier could have had many years military recovery experience and recovered vehicles under fire while working in a war zone but on leaving hold no qualifications recognised by the civilian recovery industry.
Having been in the REME Frank Taylor FIVR, who now works as development manager for the IVR, was very aware of the lack of crossover qualifications, having himself left the British Army and entered the civilian workplace. Following several meetings at Bordon a strong relationship developed, bringing together the military and civilian recovery sectors.
Initially an ‘all industry’ group was invited to visit Bordon and this resulted in regular meetings between IVR president Nick Ovenden FIVR, other representatives of the Institute and various Army personnel.
As negotiations progressed Army representatives moved on to other postings but Frank continued to work with ex REME Stuart Martin MIVR who oversees course structure and design. The momentum was then raised when the baton was taken up by WO1 Gary Tucker who through a mix of enthusiasm and dogged determination saw the project, latterly with the assistance of Major John Sibley, through to fruition.
Frank Taylor said;
‘This is hugely satisfying for all concerned and will ensure soldiers leaving the REME, be it after 7 or 22 years, should be able to enter civvy street with the qualifications to potentially get a job. Many forget that if some joined the Army at 18 years old they will be out, having done 22 years, and still only be 40. That means that even with an Army pension they could potentially have another 25 working years.’
The three year contract plus the excellent working relationships built over the past few years could lead to further cross mapping between military and civilian recovery.