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Driver

The facts

Job description

You'll drive minibuses, cranes and more to ensure people and equipment are in the right place at the right time.

Category

Airmen/Airwomen

Pay after training

£17,485

Joining age

17 - 29

Similar civilian jobs

  • Heavy goods vehicle driver
  • Chauffeur/VIP driver
  • Driving instructor
  • Coach/bus driver
  • Mobile crane operator
  • Driver of hazardous loads under ADR regulations
  • Forklift truck operator

Usual service

9 years

Nationality

Citizen of the UK or the Republic of Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

Employment restrictions may be imposed within the Logistics Branch and Trades in relation to the rapid and effective deployability of RAF personnel to countries that apply travel restrictions to non-UK personnel. Non-British personnel applying for these fields of employment are required to certify that they have been advised of the nationality imposed employment limitations and the consequences of not naturalizing as a British citizen.

Open to

male or female

Qualifications you need

2 GCSE/SCEs at Grade G/6 minimum or 2 SNEs at Grade 4 or equivalent, including English Language and Maths. A provisional driving licence is also required.

Qualifications you can gain

NVQ Level 2 and 3 in driving goods vehicles; City & Guilds in carrying dangerous goods; driving licences including Car (B), LGV (C+E) and Coach (D) licences

Residency

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the five years immediately preceding your application.

The job

Drivers are specifically employed to provide the RAF with a professional driver capability. You will be required to drive, operate and administer the RAF’s fleet of ground vehicles.

This fleet ranges from light motor vehicles to minibuses, large goods vehicles, passenger carrying vehicles, ambulances and specialist airfield support equipment such as refuellers, aircraft tractors and mobile cranes.

These vehicles, along with the Drivers, play an important role in the operational effectiveness of the RAF, ensuring that people and equipment are available in the right place, at the right time.

As a Driver, you’ll often be required to operate independently, away from your unit, so you’ll need initiative and self-confidence.

I do this job

Driver

Nick Howe
Driver

‘Without us, nothing and nobody goes anywhere.’

My role

‘We supply a service for just about everyone, whether it’s a firefighter or a medic. The basic Driver duties include hospital runs, coach runs, school trips, taking out detachments and driving Land Rovers in the field for the RAF Regiment on exercises.

‘When you first arrive on a station, you go out with a Corporal who familiarises you with all the different classes of vehicle they’ve got. Then you get involved with first-line servicing of vehicles – petrol, oil, water, tyre pressures. You are also given the opportunity to get yourLGV licence.’

My day

‘My job here at RAF Marham entails looking after the complete equipment schedule – that’s approximately 340 vehicles on the station – which means going out daily, inspecting them and making sure they are being maintained.’

My experiences

‘When I was stationed in Suffolk I was the Commanding Officer’s driver for two years, taking him to functions, as well as driving whoever was visiting the station, including royal visitors. That was a different side to driving and a good experience.

‘I’ve had some great detachments; since joining I’ve worked in Denmark, Las Vegas, Germany and Cyprus.’

My life

‘I was looking for a job with security, something that wasn’t going to make me redundant every time I looked over my shoulder. And now I hold licences to drive all kinds of vehicles, from fork lifts to articulated lorries and even a 10-tonne crane.’

Driver

Phil Taylor
Driver

‘I left home with one G.C.S.E, two towels and a bed sheet; now I live in Cyprus, earn a good wage, own my own home, and have travelled all over the world with the RAF.’

My role

‘There are many sides to being a Driver in the RAF, we’re responsible for a variety of tasks from aircraft refuelling to the control of vehicles used by other sections; making sure the right vehicles are available at the right time. We also train other RAF personnel on different vehicles and take on VIP driving duties when required.

‘The versatility of my trade means that I’m trained to deal with a myriad of different tasks. Since joining, I’ve gained an LGV licence, a PCV licence, a Dangerous Goods licence (ADR) a crane licence and licences that allow me to operate various kinds of fork lift truck. All of these were paid for by the RAF.’

My Day

‘Here at RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus I work as part of a team that is responsible for the refuelling and replenishment of aircraft. Akrotiri is a very active base so we’re always busy; we deal with anything from two to twenty aircraft everyday.

‘We perform a vital role as many of the aircraft we service are carrying ammunition, medical supplies and troops to the front line in Afghanistan. It’s my job to get the fuel out to the aircraft and into the tank within an allocated time.

‘A search and rescue helicopter, like the Griffin takes about 10-15 minutes to re-fuel, whereas a large plane like the C-17 can take up to an hour. We also deal with Tristars, Hercules, Nimrods and occasionally Tornado fast-jets.’

My Experience

‘Since joining, I’ve gained four GCSEs, an AS level and Open University points which could count towards a degree. Gaining these qualifications increased my confidence and abilities to communicate clearly and more effectively.

‘The RAF are really supportive when it comes to furthering your education and effort is recognised when you’re considered for promotion. I believe that expanding my ability contributed directly to my recent promotion to Corporal.’

My Life

‘I enjoy every minute of the RAF. It has given me the opportunity to experience some fantastic places and to be part of an outstanding team that plays a key role in the Armed Forces.

‘Through representative sport or operations, I have travelled to Florida, South Africa, Cyprus, Las Vegas, Canada, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Azores. I’ve represented the RAF and Combined Services in rugby, and even played against England Youth at Twickenham.’

More stories and views:
Nick Howe
Phil Taylor

Training

Recruit training

Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.

Specialist Training

Your next step will be a specialist driving course at the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield near Beverley in Yorkshire, which could take up to four months.

During this course you’ll be trained to pass your driving test in categories B, C, C+E and D; you’ll also learn additional military driving skills such as Load and Restraint, Off Road Driving and Skid Avoidance and Recovery Techniques as well as the procedures and regulations for carrying dangerous cargo. At the end of the course, you’ll get your first posting.

You’ll have passed your driving tests (if you haven’t already done so before you join) and earned the SCOTVEC Vocational Training Certificate for Carrying Dangerous Goods (ADR), and you’ll also be well on the way to achieving an NVQ Level 2 in Driving Goods Vehicles.

Your first tour

For your first tour, you’ll probably be posted to an RAF base, where you’ll drive the vehicles for which you hold licences. Your tasks could include driving people to and from a local airport or railway station, or driving an RAF ambulance, for example to provide medical safety cover during routine flying operations. You’ll also have responsibility for some first-line vehicle maintenance – such as checking tyre pressures, oil and fluid levels. You’ll also be given the opportunity to further advance your accreditation level within the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) scheme.

Ongoing development

As your career progresses, we’ll continue to train you in new skills.

During your first year, you’ll train to drive and operate a vast range of specialist vehicles ranging from airfield refuelling tankers to snow clearance equipment.

Your future

Career prospects

You’ll initially join the RAF for a period of nine years.

After a year, you’ll be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman if you pass a trade ability test.

Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.

Transferable skills

The qualifications you can earn are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you’ll be well placed to find a new job, for example:

- Light Goods Vehicle Driver (LGV CAT C+E (with full ADR))
- Petroleum Tanker Driver
- Vehicle Dispatch Clerk
- Heavy Goods Vehicle Driver 
- Chauffeur / VIP Driver
- Driving Instructor 
- Coach / Bus Driver
- Mobile Crane Operator
- Driver of Hazardous Loads under ADR regulations
- Fork Lift Operator 

Apply now

Call us on

0845 605 5555

  • Mon-Fri8am to 8pm
  • Sat9am to 6pm
  • Sun10am to 4pm
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