What seems to have avoided is the point that we don’t have any ‘worth criteria’ applied to adult staff when they join, other than a pulse. If they do have some extra things to bring that’s a bonus.
As for taking someone as staff if they weren’t allowed to stay beyond 17 as a cadet, yes, why wouldn’t I? There is little correlation between the two people.
I would suggest there are many older staff who at 17 wouldn’t have been asked to stay on and not come back. As it is I don’t see us keeping 50% of the 18+ as staff as it is, of those who do stay on past 18 anyway. Of the ones we’ve seen stay on have left before their 19th birthday to go to uni or work or before their 20th because the Corps isn’t offering them very much, other than expecting they do things for little return. As incubus says they are cadets we are here to ‘serve them’ not them us. My experience is more like 10% so one in ten. I’ve seen OCs invest a lot of time and effort in 16/17 yo cadets in the hope of keeping them on and they don’t want to and in the process losing others who were equally as good but ignored and they left as well. There is one recently who was groomed for a commission, took it and when wing started turning the screw about being an OC, did a smart turn to the right, joined the Scouts (he has a number of his family involved) and is loving it. Apparently he is a pack leader and doing lots of things the ATC hierarchy would have palpitations over without half a tree of paperwork.
I don’t understand the comment “without some idea of what they want to achieve having explained how they can get involved.”, as what they want to achieve doesn’t really matter until they’ve been around a while and decided what they want to do.
The cadets not staying on past 17 is directly correlated to the notion of tests etc for cadet NCO promotions, as being an NCO is one of those boxes to tick to stay on past 17. So put too many barriers in the way, reduce the number of NCOs and reduce the number eligible to stay. But being a cadet NCO has zero bearing on whether someone can be a member of staff, given there are many staff out there who have never been cadets, so setting arbitrary criteria to stay as a cadet past your 18th birthday and no idea or requirement, with respect to become staff at 20 or any point in the future, is a complete nonsense that could only have been drawn up by someone who was clueless. I see all the usual rubbish is being spouted about maturity of 18 yo and so on. I see too many former cadets in their 20s and older pratting around in uniform who act as childishly as any cadet below majority.
Given we have become a ever more inward looking organisation when it comes to recruiting staff we have to be careful that we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. We have too many over-zealous OCs out there who are far too blinkered and cannot see the bigger picture.
Notwithstanding all of this, I am firmly in the camp of stopping cadet service at the end of year 13 and adult staff service starting after this point as 18 year olds. DBS unnecessary prior, as per CCF comment. I cannot understand why the ATC is so bogged down with the idea of keeping essentially adults and expecting to them to be adults sometimes and not at other times, as cadets beyond the age of 18. Especially in this day and age, when they are probably more adult at 18 than many of their forebears, due to in large part to the internet. Bring them in as staff when they are 18 and use that latent enthusiasm for a couple of years, before the potential drudgery of uniformed service, dulls them.