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 will also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
Unqualified: Your next step is a 13 week specialist training course held at the Food Services Wing, Catering Training Squadron (RAF), Defence Logistics School at Worthy Down, where you will learn about serving food in a dining room environment, preparing a bar and cellar for service and reception work including the development of customer care skills. You will also undertake a ten day Introduction to Deployed Operations course and you will have commenced a Level 2 NVQ Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Food and Beverage Service which will be completed at your first unit. On successful completion of the specialist training you will receive your first assignment.
Qualified: You may be eligible for fast-track promotion if you already have catering qualifications and at least one year’s experience in the hospitality industry. After recruit training you will complete a 13 week specialist training course to familiarise yourself with military catering. On successful completion of the specialist training, you will then qualify for immediate promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman and be allocated to your first assignment.
Your First Tour
For your first tour, you will be posted to an Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess within a RAF base. Here you will gain experience in the dining room, bar and reception areas. It’s your first experience of life on base and a chance to understand how the RAF community works. After you have successfully completed your Trade Ability Test and gained experience within the Mess environment. You may be detached overseas for anything from a few weeks to a few months.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
As your career progresses, you will have the opportunity to be trained in new skills, including management and leadership. If you are subsequently selected to be Cabin Crew, you will be trained in aircraft safety procedures, cabin service and in-flight catering. If you wish to become Cabin Crew you will need to pass the RAF Fitness Test and RAF Swim Test to be selected. The RAF Swim Test consists of:
• Swimming 100 metres
• Tread water for 2 minutes
• Get out of the swimming pool at the deep end, unaided and fully clothed
After completion of these tests, you would receive your first assignment. You will not be employed on these duties during your first tour - you’ll have to prove your ability on the ground first. Caterers must have completed 18 months service after completion of Phase 2 Training before being considered for cabin crew duties. You will have the opportunity to complete courses in food hygiene, catering instruction and specialist catering skills. You will also receive regular training in deployed catering skills.
Your Future Career Prospects/Progression
You will initially join the RAF for a period of twelve years on a Notice Engagement with effect from 1 April 2015. If you have joined as an unqualified Caterer after one years total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman when you pass a Trade Ability Test. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection.
The qualifications and skills you will have the opportunity to earn will be as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you will be well placed to find a job in the hospitality industry or as Cabin Crew for a Commercial company. Qualifications You Can Achieve Under The Apprenticeship Programme Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Food & Beverage Service Level 2 Technical Certificate in Hospitality & Catering Principles (Food & Beverage Service) Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering Level 2 Award in Health and Safety in the Workplace Level 1 Award Functional Skills Mathematics Level 1 Award Functional Skills English