Defence Training Review
The Defence Training Review was established by the then Defence Secretary, Lord Robertson, on 22 July 1999 to examine all individual training and education, Service and civilian, in the British armed forces. The review report, entitled Modernising Defence Training, was published in 2001. The report highlighted that:
- Future Defence Training needed to be more integrated;
- Training needed to be managed on a Defencewide basis to better support the increasing move towards joint deployments;
- That the training estate needed investment and rationalisation to ensure that facilities were used efficiently and were fit for purpose.
These recommendations are at the heart of the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Programme - a large and complex 'Public-Private Partnership' (PPP) seeking to transform the way specialist training is delivered in the future. Under a PPP contract a prospective Partner will be responsible for the design and delivery of the majority of the training but the MOD, via senior military officers, will command and retain overall responsibility for the effectiveness of this training. This strong military presence will be maintained to provide skills training and ensure that operational experience is shared with students, and military ethos is upheld.
The programme actually consists of 2 separate projects termed Package 1 and Package 2. Package 1 involves provision of training for engineering and communications, while Package 2 was to provide training for logistics, security, policing and administration.
The Preferred Bidder
In January 2007, the Secretary of State for Defence announced that the Metrix consortium had been awarded Preferred Bidder status for Package 1, and Provisional Preferred Bidder status for Package 2. By January 2008, however, the Government had decided that the Metrix Consortium is not able to offer an affordable and acceptable Package 2 solution and, therefore, alternative approaches would be considered.
Metrix's bid includes the provision of a new Defence Technical College (DTC) which will be located at St Athan. The overall investment is considered to be greater than that for the London Olympics.
The development will be complementary to the Welsh Assembly Government's aspirations to create an Aerospace Centre of Excellence at St Athan. The construction programme for the future Defence Technical College is scheduled to commence in the autumn of 2010 and will cost an estimated £700m and will create 1500 jobs.
A separate project team has been established at Upavon, operating under the auspices of Director General Army Recruiting & Training (DG ART), to determine the best way forward for Package 2 training and infrastructure.