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.
If you are joining with little or no catering experience, you will complete specialist training at the Food Services Wing DLS CTS (RAF) Worthy Down. This 17 week course will give you an overview of catering in the RAF and the basic craft skills required of a chef. You will also undertake a ten-day Introduction to Deployed Operations with No 3 Mobile Catering Squadron. Whilst at CTS during the course you will begin a level 2 NVQ Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Professional Cookery (preparation and cookery) which you will complete during the first year on unit, and you will be on your way to gaining an Apprenticeship in Hospitality. On successful completion of specialist training you will receive your first assignment.
You may be eligible for fast-track promotion if you already have acceptable academic catering qualifications and suitable catering experience in the hospitality industry. Before you join, however, your qualifications will be scrutinised by the Catering Apprenticeship Team. If you have the relevant qualifications and experience and if you achieve a pass rate of 80% or higher on all practical and theory Phase tests during the 17 week specialist training you will qualify for promotion to Senior Aircraftman/woman and will receive your first assignment.
Ongoing Training/Development Opportunities
As your career progresses, we will continue to train you in new skills, including management and leadership. In addition, you will have the opportunity to complete further courses in higher culinary skills, food hygiene, and instructor duties. You will also receive regular training in deployed catering and food ordering, accounting and storage.
Your First Tour
For your first tour, you will be posted to either an Officers’ or Sergeants’ Mess – which serve food of hotel standard – or to a Junior Ranks’ Mess, which offers a wide range of high-quality meals. It’s your first experience of life on base and a chance to understand how the RAF community works.
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 without qualifications, after completing one year’s 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 NVQ and Apprenticeship 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 will be well placed to find a job in the hospitality industry.
Qualifications You Can Achieve Under The Apprenticeship Programme
Level 2 NVQ Professional Cookery
Level2 Technical Certificate in Hospitality & Catering
Principles Professional Cookery
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