The point at which you leave the Service is probably more scary than the day you joined up and marks a major turning point in your adult life. The Service structure which has sustained you during your career is suddenly removed and not only do you need a new job but you have to think about housing, doctors, dentists etc. For this reason DTESR as part of the MOD, support Resettlement as the final part of your through-Service training. Resettlement' from the RAF is a process which you will probably experience only once and that is usually during your last two years of service - which is one of the reasons why awareness of the process is limited. This outlines the current structure of resettlement, which has seen some significant changes over the last year and it may also give you a gentle nudge.
Resettlement is an entitlement based on a sliding scale depending on how many years you have served. Full information on your entitlement can be found in the JSP 534 - The Tri-Service Resettlement Manual. Resettlement is your personal responsibility but you do not have to tackle it on your own - information, advice, training and help in job finding are all on offer, and all free. Duty time and some financial assistance are also available. The resettlement structure is most easily understood in terms of 'first', 'second' and 'third' line.
Typically, your first point of contact will be at unit level with the Resettlement and Education Co-ordinators (RECs), who act as focal points for all resettlement information and administration. Don't believe anything you are told elsewhere around the bazaars by well meaning colleagues until you have checked it out with the RECs and the Second Line.
The RECs will put your in touch with the visiting Regional Resettlement Adviser (RRA). There are 11 RRAs, who are C2 grade Civil Servants, who cover the whole of the UK and visit RAF units overseas, including North West Europe, Cyprus and Naples. Each RRA looks after 3 or 4 stations and their parented units. The RRAs provide information and advice by way of regular briefings and individual interviews; they also refer those who wish (the vast majority) to the 'third line', which operates from Regional Resettlement Centres (RRCs) - 10 in number, including one each in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Germany.
In Oct 98 the MOD contracted Right Management, a subsidiary of Manpower Inc, to provide tri-Service resettlement preparation, training and job finding assistance. Access to the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), as it is known, is free to all personnel entitled to resettlement. The Officers' Association (OA) and Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) are now also part of the CTP. Both these organisations, which have charitable arms as well, continue to provide significant assistance with job finding through a UK-wide network of local offices. As well as operating the 10 RRCs, the CTP also operate a Resettlement Training Centre at Aldershot. Training offered is very professional, extremely varied and can offer up to level 5 qualifications, all at a highly subsidised rate.
Whilst both the First and Second Line are tasked to give you information and advice at any time during your service, entitlement to Third Line, plus duty time and financial assistance, does not normally start until you are within 2 years of a confirmed exit date. (If you are waiting to hear the outcome of an application for an extension of service or assimilation you should assume you are leaving on your current discharge date). If you are over 50 or have completed 30 years service, you can start your resettlement earlier. You qualify for the CTP's job finding service if you have been in the RAF for at least 4 years and if you have completed 6 or more years service you qualify for the full transition programme including duty time for resettlement activities and a grant for training (the time limits are waived for those who are made redundant or medically discharged). The CTP's job finding service is available for up to 2 years after discharge, however, the charitable arms of the RFEA and OA will continue to help people for the rest of their working lives.
The most recent major change is that Resettlement is now carried out using JPA. When you become entitled to resettlement (e.g. 2 years before your end of service) JPA will send you a workflow telling you that you are now entitled and to get in touch with your RRA, JPA also tells the RRA to expect you. Once you have been briefed and are registered as entitled to resettlement, all further transactions will be carried out on JPA, remember though, it is your responsibility to research and decide what you want to do after you leave the RAF, nobody else can do it for you, although there are a lot of people to help you.
For further information, visit the Career Transition Partnership website below: