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RAF recruitment

(23 Posts)
mummyflood Tue 19-Oct-10 14:06:45

Hi everyone. Am hoping for some advice/general opinion or information.

DS is 17 and has made his initial phone call for RAF - avionics (electrical) after his GCSE results and is waiting for an interview at the AFCO. He was told that his trade is open between October and December.

Is there anyone involved in recruitment who can give him/me any reassurance as to whether there will still be any recruiting going on after the cuts are announced - heard on the news today that 17,000 or thereabouts are likely to be cut across the 3 forces?

MrsSnaplegs Tue 19-Oct-10 17:12:56

All 3 of the armed forces will still be recruiting but their numbers will be adjusted in light of today's news. It will mean it will be more competitive to get in. Best place for advice will be the AFCO as they will know trade specific numbers and dates. Best advice is to make himself as desirable as possible with experience and qualifications and in the interim to get a job as he may be waiting longer than expected. He could look at doing a public services course at local college.

mummyflood Tue 19-Oct-10 19:18:50

Thanks for that, MrsSnaplegs. Sort of what I hoped to hear, I think!!

He has a pretty good CV up to now - the required GCSE's and then some, is currently doing 3 AS levels at school, has got bronze and silver D of E and is well into gold, goes to cadets, has a long history of scouts/explorers etc. and has some great references from previous youth leaders and his old boss from a paper round he did. Hopefully all of this will stand him in good stead, he has also done a public services course at Cadets, I think there is one more thing he needs to do to complete.

I was at work when the news was on, and was receiving blow-by-blow texts about what was being scrapped, etc, bless him - he is quite downhearted, the RAF is his dream and has been for a good few years now!!

MrsSnaplegs Tue 19-Oct-10 19:54:24

Tell him to hold onto that dream and if he really wants it he just might have to wait a little longer to achieve it

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Wed 20-Oct-10 11:13:42

All I have heard is they are still recruiting (Dh has just got off the phone to the AFCO - his trade is closed and you cannot apply for anything other than 1st chosen trade). Can he see about joining reserves in meantime? Has he been given an interview date, or is he waiting for trade to open?

mummyflood Thu 21-Oct-10 15:09:50

He is waiting for an interview date - his trade opened this month as far as I know. He is checking his emails up to 5 times a day - I really hope he hears something, even if he ends up being deferred!

WingDad Fri 22-Oct-10 01:30:21

Don't let these cuts get your son down. Reading about his achievements, it sounds like he's someone the RAF would love to have. Encourage him to stick at all that he does, especially cadets and DofE.

Do allow me to ask one question though, looking his accomplishments, why doesn't he go for officer entry? Granted, it's tougher and he'll have to show leadership qualities amongst other things in selection, but it sounds like he's got solid foundations for an officer.

I'm afraid I'm not in recruiting, nor am I in engineering, but I still hope I can help if you have any further questions.

He must keep the dream alive. Put it this way, so many people will be put off applying for HM forces due to these cuts, make sure your DS isn't one of them and applying in this economic climate shows that he's really determined to serve.

If engineering doesn't work out, hell, we'll have him in the Regiment grin

scaryteacher Fri 22-Oct-10 12:00:05

How about Welbeck for 6th form; designed to be for the Forces engineers of the future? Dh weapon engineer (SM) and has had a great career in the RN. Avionics engineers also needed for RN helicopters and the Fleet Air Arm.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 22-Oct-10 12:05:36

I really hope he hears something soon, mummyflood, please keep us updated. I would be very intersted to see how he gets on, my daughter also has her heart set on joining the RAF (as an officer at 18) and is also very disenheartened by the cuts.

To ne honest from what little I know, the fact he goes to cadets, is doing gold DofE and has a long history of committment (with scouts etc), I think he has a lot more chance of being snapped up than someone who has had no involvement with the RAF so far. That's what my daughter's squadron says anyway! 3 of dd's cadet mates are joining the RAF reg next summer, they are daunted by the cuts but are still positive.

Bless him. Must be very hard for gim having to wait and see.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 22-Oct-10 12:07:22

If he is unable to get in at 18, has he considered studing aeronautical engineering at uni, and applying for a university bursary? This will help with his fees, and also guarantee him a place on graduation.

mummyflood Sat 23-Oct-10 12:55:44

Thank you for all the encouraging messages. Have shown DS the thread and he is very chuffed and more upbeat now. Sends his thanks.

As far as Officer entry, he doesn't think that would be for him - reckons he is more a 'hands on' type person. He did look at Welbeck, but unfortunately didn't get the grades - the A's and B's he did get were in the wrong subjects!!

He will definitely be looking at all the further study options if nothing is forthcoming by the time he reaches 18 - I wish he'd done something more engineering - focussed at college but we couldn't persuade him to leave school, I think he thought it would amongst other things affect his DofE which is run by the school and he is in quite a tight group for the expeditions, etc. Whilst he is quite independant and outdoorsy, never worried about going off and doing things elsewhere including staying away from home for days on end be it with the army or on his flying scholarship or some camping or other, he surprised me by wanting to keep the security of school for the time being even though the course options were, IMO, quite limited.

I will update when he hears further, provided the waiting doesn't finish him or me off in the meantime!! grin

scaryteacher Sat 23-Oct-10 13:33:32

My dh is a Weapons Engineer officer as I said, who is very hands on indeed. You can't be an Engineer officer without knowing how to do it better than your team, especially when you are responsible for a multi million pound onload of very expensive weapons.

Being an officer isn't about sitting behind a desk, in dh's part of the Forces it is doing casing crawls on a submarine inside the casing; it is being responsible for the acoustic signature of a submarine, for all the sonar, weapons and gyroscopes; yes as you get promoted you obviously do more management, but that is as true of the other ranks as it is of an Officer.

Encourage him to go down the Officer route - my dh didn't do engineering at school for O or A levels, but did an Electronic Engineering degree. The Forces train you their way in any case, and the training is very specific, be it for marine, weapon or aeronautical engineering. Dh also taught at the Naval Engineering College to train up the Engineers of the future (including junior RAF Engineer Officers).

If your ds wants to know more about being an Engineer in the Forces then use the PM thing and dh can answer questions on the RN at least and generally from what he knows about the RAF, as he has worked in several tri service jobs.

WingDad Sat 23-Oct-10 14:32:04

Well I'll add to scrayteacher's offer of being available for PMs, more for the RAF lifestyle side of things as opposed to the engineering side which scaryteacher I'm sure has covered!

I will say that being an officer is not for everyone, I agree with scaryteacher (can I call you ST please? grin), officer roles can be hands-on too (take me for example, I'm an officer but when the ** hits the fan, I'll be next to my airmen firing my rifle just like anyone else). However, one can't deny that being an officer involves different work environments, as an engineer you'll be working on aircraft, but you'll also be managing a team of airmen to get the job done; you look at the bigger picture and delegate from there.

If your son thinks he'd enjoy it more as an airman, then that's fine; but I think I'd only be comfortable with making that decision if I had looked at being an officer in a lot of detail and thought, "No, that's not for me". And if he's done that, then that's fine.

Since you said your son has read this thread, I'll speak to him directly (if I may):

On paper, you look fantastic. You've done some amazing things and I hope you've enjoyed it along the way. One thing I really should utter is, just keep up the hard work. RAF recruiters will see your Scouts and Cadets experience and think "This is a good lad, he's been commited over a long period of time." and will think higher of you than someone who did Cadets for 3 years then gave up. The RAF is fantastic, there's not one day that goes by for me where I think "I wish I hadn't joined", I've been to some fantastic places all over the world (some not so nice too but that's all part of the fun grin) and I work with some of the most awesome men and women I've ever met. If you really, really want this then chase it until you can't go on anymore; it'll be tough along the way in training, but if your hearts set on it then you'll get through. Good luck lad, and hopefully you'll be walking around in a light blue uniform soon enough.


Gawd, I feel like one of those inspirational speakers. TOGETHER, WE CAN DO THIS, WHO'S WITH ME?

scaryteacher Sat 23-Oct-10 17:04:27

WD - dark blue is sooo much more attractive!!!!

Seriously, the Officer route is worth looking at. My dh has done 32 years, so only another couple to go, but in all that time he has been challenged, stretched, not bored (often), has added to his skills set, done lots of hands on engineering with very specialist and advanced kit, developed a gliding habit, been well paid and had a great social life. He has served on and under the ocean, been abroad frequently, and we are now posted overseas.

My younger brother is also an RN Officer who has had an equally great career and has no intentions of going outside until he has to.

MrsSnaplegs Sat 23-Oct-10 17:32:08

I'll add my offers of availabilty for pm if needed. I am dark blue, 18 yrs service and came up through ranks to commission - not an engineer but have been all over world and loved every minute.

scaryteacher Sat 23-Oct-10 17:48:17

So did my Dad MrsS - made it to Lt Cdr from baby sailor at Ganges in 23 years.

WingDad Sat 23-Oct-10 19:32:00

"WD - dark blue is sooo much more attractive!!!!"

Oh how rude. How very, very dare you. We all know nobody likes the sailor hat thingys and white shorts grin It's the light blue way, or the high way wink

Dark blue....geez, anyone would think you're all just a bunch of WAFUs!

scaryteacher Sun 24-Oct-10 01:34:19

Nope, steely eyed dealers of death in a black tube in dark blue. Don't do 'sailor hats', but real caps with scrambled egg on the peak.

Just had a look at the pdf with the piccies of the RAF uniform in them, and the bloke modelling the AVM and above uniform without the gold sash round the waste looks an awful lot like my ex next door neighbour. Must ask dh if it is him in the morning.

I really don't like the Wedgewood blue the RAF uniform is described as....

The white shorts are very attractive with a nice tanned Naval Officer inside them!

WingDad Sun 24-Oct-10 12:25:20

Yeah I admit, I don't like Wedgewoods, but oh well!

I'm not high enough rank to have scrambled egg or anything gold on my uniform And I'm certainly not an AVM haha!

scaryteacher Sun 24-Oct-10 16:17:33

I think there'll be even less of those once they powers that be have decided who to ping for redundancy. 6 months is a while to be hanging in the breeze waiting....

WingDad Sun 24-Oct-10 16:22:21

Absolutely, the RAF is far too top-heavy at the moment. No promotion straight to Air Commodore for me then grin

I quite fancied being a Commodore, how cool would that be?!

herbietea Sun 24-Oct-10 16:23:21

Message withdrawn

mummyflood Wed 15-Dec-10 09:28:00

Hi everyone - an update as promised.

Firstly, sorry for long absence - lots going on in all areas. Many many thanks for all the offers of PM. Passed this on to DS, who become uncharacteristically bashful and wouldn't let me take any of them up!

So. It has all moved on apace. Has now passed tests and interview, great marks in tests and he was told he did a strong interview. We are so proud!! WingDad - the Corporal must have seen the same things as you picked up on, as he said there was no need to refer upwards, he was happy to put him through to the next stage!! Waiting for medical, will be sometime in January he has been told. Then fitness test, if he passes - 2 days induction at Halton, then interview with someone "above Flight Sergeant rank" and hopefully that will be it!! This is all going very swiftly, we thought it would be about six months all told - that's what it took a friend of his for his application for Regiment. Unfortunately he failed the final part of the fitness, but is re-applying very shortly for logistics (I think) so DS is hoping they may both be at Halton together!!

Meanwhile, GF has broken up with him (the evening before his interview) as she feels 'he is putting the RAF before her' gringrin, she did happen to move to NI a few weeks ago, which in itself was a bit of a worry. And then we spent yesterday afternoon in A&E due to him coming home from school in tears thinking he had broken/damaged his foot which he did actually break 5yrs ago!! Thankfully nothing significant wrong (huge relief emoticon!) The nurse practitioner who assessed him, despite saying she was an RAF Officer, basically told us we should have gone to a walk in centre (which I didn't even know existed, and which doesn't have x-ray facilities anyway) but that's another story, when his whole life and career was flashing before him, A&E seemed like the obvious choice given the previous break and impending medical??!

So it's been quite eventful, and a little stressful, thanks again for all the support and fingers crossed nothing crops up on the medical or fitness!!

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