Training commitments vary between the three Reserve Forces, but in most cases include:
Weekly training - most Reservists train at their local centre for around two-and-a-half hours, one evening a week.
Weekend training - all Reservists are expected to attend a number of training weekends which are spread throughout the year.
Annual training - this is a 15-day continuous training course, sometimes referred to as ‘Annual Camp’. This may take place at a training establishment, as an attachment to a Regular Unit, a training exercise or a combination of any of these. Training normally takes place within the UK, although each year some Reservists train overseas.
Additional voluntary training
Some Reservists volunteer for extra training courses and other duties in addition to their annual continuous training commitment. This enables them to gain skills in areas such as health and safety, IT and personnel management. Like all Reservist training, employers do not have to grant any additional leave for this, but many do as they see it as a valuable investment for their own organisation. To find out more about the skills Reservists develop, see transferable skills.
What happens during Annual Camp?
These continuous training periods allow Reservists to consolidate their skills and undertake activities that they simply couldn’t achieve during a weekend. In some cases, it’s the only time in the year when the whole Unit can train together. Annual Camp is fundamental to a Reservist's commitment and if they can’t attend, they won’t be able to fully develop their skills. Annual Camp dates are decided as early as possible in order to help Reservists arrange time off work.
The importance of your support
Your understanding and co-operation are essential if your Reservist is to benefit fully from their training opportunities. This is particularly important as the continuous training period can represent a significant proportion of an employee's holiday entitlement if no additional leave is granted. Many employers are happy to give Reservist employees extra time off to attend Annual Camp because they too, can make use of their Reservist employee’s new skills. Find out which organisations offer additional leave.
The benefits to you
A great deal of Reservist training is directly transferable to the workplace. To find out more, see what Reservists offer.