My personal experience of AFCO
Go back 15 years ago we’d see them once a year at Squadron, they would do there “this is the RAF – come join us” talk “who wants to be a pilot?” = 90% of the hands go up, they then offered an entertaining talk on what else was available.
Must be ~10 years ago now we were told not to expect are AFCO to attend single Squadron visits – they were too stretched to do that and would only consider “larger audiences” with multiple Squadrons – the unit I was with at the time saw high 40s on the books and a regular mid-30s attendance – no one ever told us what the threshold was for minimum audience size but suffice to say as we were bursting at the seams and other neighbouring units weren’t in a position to host!
Playing devil’s advocate perhaps they wanted 30 genuine interested and eligible candidates not just 30 kids off the street who had a no idea what they were doing next month let alone in 2 years time when they turn 16 and could consider joining up.
From a recruitment point of view – I haven’t seen AFCOs steer people towards roles or jobs. A fellow Cadet friend was determined to be RAF Regiment, there was nothing to believe he wouldn’t do it. He wasn’t an exceptional candidate but he’d suit the role. He was pushed back time after time, trade wasn’t open, but expecting to be soon, given a start date which was then delayed, then delayed again – he was so frustrated being kicked back every 4 months he asked them based on his application/aptitude what is open that he could do – MT Driver.
He did it and saw the world. He even worked alongside the Red Arrows at one point, and picked up plenty of licences along the way setting him up for a career when he leaves.