Computer whizz kids from a Plymouth college have invented a computer application (App) to boost Royal Navy recruitment.
Students and staff from University Technical College (UTC) Plymouth presented their Recruiting App project to Rear Admiral John Clink who heads Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at a ceremony in Plymouth on Monday.
The college created the App in partnership with the Royal Navy, designed to help everybody who applies to join the Royal Navy and Royal Marines prepare for the Naval Service Recruitment Test (NSRT). The App replaces a booklet containing 32 sample questions with 120 and will be issued to everyone who applies to join the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
The recruitment test is a timed psychometric assessment forming an important element of the joining process. The new Recruitment App enables candidates to practice answering sample questions similar to the actual test, either on their laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
Adm Clink said: “The Royal Navy continues to be innovative and embrace modern technology; our recruiting process is just as modern. The Recruiting App which the staff and students of UTC Plymouth have developed will offer candidates the ability to practice ahead of their test. The students of UTC Plymouth have made a real difference in helping people prepare for a career in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.”
Student Kaye Richards, 15, worked on the security of the App. She said: “I feel very proud to have my name and college linked to this website. It’s a worldwide app after all and will be looked at by thousands of people every year. I was set the task of ensuring the security of the App. I was asked to try my best to hack into it and find any loopholes and we are confident of its security from illegal use.’’
Lieutenant Commander George Blakeman, the Royal Navy’s Area Recruiting Officer in the South West, said: “UTC Plymouth has an excellent reputation for science, technology, engineering and mathematics or ‘STEM’ education within the region and has strong links with the Royal Navy.
He approached the IT Dept and asked if they could design, develop and build an ‘App’ to better prepare candidates for the Naval Service Recruitment Test.
He added: “Previously candidates were issued a booklet of sample questions which I thought needed to be updated and brought into the 21st century. UTC Plymouth has delivered an outstanding project which will make a positive and tangible impact on the recruitment process.”
Simon Pykett, UTC Plymouth IT head and project lead said: “We are thrilled to have worked alongside the Royal Navy and provide them with this App. It’s very satisfying to know all of the hard work which we have put into this project will help thousands of people who wish to apply to join the Royal Navy. This has also enabled the pupils to put the academic theory they have learnt into practice and produce an IT product which will be used nationwide. I’m sure this project has inspired some of the pupils to consider a STEM career in the Royal Navy.”
Ms Polly Lovell, UTC Plymouth’s Principal said: “Simon and the pupils have worked hard during the concept, design, develop and build phases in close partnership with the Royal Navy to make sure the ‘App’ met the Royal Navy’s requirements. They invested considerable time and effort during the BETA testing phase to get the Recruiting ‘App’ absolutely right, I’m very proud of the team.”
Anyone interested in looking at a career in the Royal Navy/Royal Marines can either visit a recruitment centre or visit WWW.royalnavy.mod.uk/careers and begin the process to include the (NSRT).