Mod Sponsored Cadets Forces: 2024 Stats Published

Some interesting reading


That 21% reduction in ATC CFAV numbers since 2020 is crazy


Wow. That’s shocking. If it was the same across the board, fair enough, but it’s not. SCC and ACF are up, whilst we’re down 21%.

This also doesn’t show the impact of those who have stayed, but are giving less time.


Think that finally answers the ‘Is the Air Cadets in a death spiral?’ thread.


That is just Crazy. I doesn’t reflect well on the current mgt of the corps

I wonder if a 20% reduction in staff has been factored in to the findings of the CACE review. If we have 20% less CFAVs then we have 20% less costs. Also, I there are 20% less people to manage shouldn’t the employed staff be 20% smaller. 1 less region, 6 less wings?

I reckon that costs savings would be even more as more pressure put on CFAVs to deliver, CFAVs withdrawing from more events!!


Might make sense to merge with other cadet forces and become an aviation branch of the ACF/SCC.

I’ll put a big caveat in. The drop is since 2020. One thing that Covid did was cause a lot of “ghost volunteers” be wiped off the system along with the introduction of BPSS & three yearly DBS (&auto suspension at expiry).

The significant bit is the last year or so.

The other cadet forces are increasing whilst we are decreasing, indicating that we are failing to retain or recruit. This is the bigger issue & probably due to systematic reasons.


That is true, but the pattern is important. We’ve now got the lowest amount of CFAVS since their reporting data from 1/4/13.

Air Training Corps
2013: 12080
2014: 10430
2015: 9900
2016: 10410
2017: 10280
2018: 9910
2019: 10680
2020: 11680
2021: 10710
2022: 9570
2023: 9350
2024: 9190


Damn, looks even worse in that context.

Bruv, this is the ACO - there’s always a worse.


Even Ive found myself of recent wondering if the juice worth the squeeze anymore


I think it’s the ATC mindset or not fixing the problems.

After / during Covid the sea cadets but a load of resources into recruitment & retention do when things lifted they were able to crack on.

The ACF remodelled afterwards & is slightly growing.

We’ve done nothing the result is less recruitment & growth whilst still trying to do what we use to. We’ve failed to change & adapt.

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10 posts were merged into an existing topic: Dire ATC CFAV decline, recruitment, and retention

I don’t know whether or not this would reflect across the whole of the Air Cadets, but some of the older staff took Covid as an opening to leave in my experience. Perhaps that is a factor also?

It could be.

It could also be that some people who would have left in 2020/21 didn’t because of the various lockdowns, but had we been operating as usual would have been natural wastage.

We then get the double blip of them leaving and the impact of no one joining during the Covid period.

Absent of exit interviews or a detailed survey there’s no way to know.

But my feeling - and I can only go on my gut and what I’ve seen locally - is that the decline may have started before Covid and we might have seen a smaller YOY drop spread out over more years if it weren’t for lockdowns.

We’d still be where we are now in terms of leavers but maybe a bit better off if we’d been able to recruit or keep staff cadets.

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For comparison I thought I would post the CCF CFAV numbers

What’s interesting is the steady numbers except army which I assume is down to CEP.

For comparison, these are cadet numbers

Air Training Corps
2013: 45 570
2014: 44 020
2015: 43 270
2016: 43 270
2017: 41 470
2018: 41 520
2019: 43 520
2020: 44 430
2021: 37 010
2022: 35 610
2023: 40 770
2024: 43 260


Seems fairly stable to me.

I was surprised and impressed by the recovery post covid tbh. 8k cadets in 2 years is pretty good going.