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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. Yet leaving the Air Force brings about a major change in your life which is as fundamental as joining up. This outlines the current structure of resettlement.

First 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.

Second Line. The RECs will put you in touch with the visiting Regional Resettlement Officers (RRO). There are 10 RROs (C2s), who cover the whole of the UK and visit RAF units overseas, including North West Europe and Naples. Each RRO looks after 3 or more stations and their parented units. The RROs 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.

Third Line. Since 1998, tri-Service resettlement preparation, training and job finding assistance has been provided by the Career Transition Partnership (CTP). It is available to all personnel eligible for resettlement. The Officers' Association 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.

Eligibility. Whilst both the First and Second Line are tasked to give you information and advice at any time during your service, eligibility for Third Line, plus duty time and financial assistance, does not start until you have served at least 4 years and 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 have completed 6 or more years' service you qualify for the full transition programme (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.

Personal Consultant. Each Service Leaver is assigned a civilian careers consultant. The consultants will not get you a job, but they will help you consider the type of work which may suit your personality, skills and circumstances. The CTP career consultant will be available to you for up to 2 years after discharge.

Graduated Resettlement Time (GRT) allows you to take a quantity of resettlement time which is commensurate with your length of service. For example, 35 days are available for those who have served for 16 years. Full details of GRT may be found in JSP 534.

Financial Assistance. Resettlement travel warrants are available in a quantity proportionate to the number of weeks GRT, along with a resettlement training costs grant (currently £534) and subsistence allowances where appropriate. You must gain authorisation from the RRA for resettlement activities before committing to them.

Financial Advice. Although some resettlement activities are best left until your last 24 months in the Service, it is never too early to sort out your financial affairs. A financial brief is offered as part of the CTP resettlement provision and you are strongly advised to attend this as early as possible.

Housing Advice. As with finance, housing is far too important to be left until the last minute. The Joint Service Housing Advice Office (JSHAO) (Tel 01252 787574 or Mil 94222 7574) is a source of excellent advice on Civilian housing options. They produce the Housing Matters magazine and conduct regular briefings which cover a variety of housing alternatives. Although the latter are designed for Service leavers, you do not have to be within your last 2 years to attend and you may be accompanied by your spouse on a fill-up basis. (Further details are available from your nearest RRC).

Specific Services associated with Resettlement

Pathfinder - Information available for Ex-military and resettlement magazine available to Service Leavers


Career Transition Partnership

Civvy Street- for Service leavers or anyone who has served and their dependants

Pathfinder - Resettlement and ex military jobs available

Quest Magazine - Offers Armed Forces training and jobs for ex military personnel

Easy Resettlement - Magazine giving service leavers the assistance, help, support and advice they required when making the transition back to civilian life

RAF News - RAF bi-weekly published magazine

Ready for a Career Change - Article from The Times - 20090516

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