Staff Exodus

Never have I ever seen so many vacancies for OC squadrons before, it feels like every week we are getting adverts for OC positions coming through.

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this many in such a short space of time before.

To me it suggests both the position is undesirable and we are not onboarding and training new staff to become effective “2IC unit” to step into the roll once an OC retires or moves on.

It’s a bit of a worry!


Do they advertise for Squadron Commanders now?
Back in my day you got a phone call from OC Wing who told you where you were next off to - you then had two options, take it or leave it! :grin:

1 Like

I guess that’s fine if you’ve got enough staff to move about!


My previous Wing did, there was about six vacancies when I left the Wing, not including the one I’d just created. I left in January and it’s still vacant, officially covered by WSO but essentially a skeleton staff left to do what they can.
My current Wing don’t advertise, we’re too far geographically spread for most of the Wing for it to be even an option of someone moving Sqns unless they happen to be relocating there for work. Vacancies just sit there, with top cover provided in name only in most cases by the WSO.

I remember the time I had a phone call from the Wg Cdr to tell me that I had to take over the Sqn, I was running the DF at the time. It was 20 miles from my home address, when I worked 25 miles in the other direction to my home, I tried to say no but the reply was, if you don’t take on the Sqn you won’t have a DF to run. This was 20 years ago, and my reply now would be a lot different to what it was back then as off I trotted to run the Sqn alongside the DF!


Wing Vacancies page currently only showing 2 WSO and 2 OC Vacancies, I knows that’s not correct as off the top of my head I can think of 3 more OC Vacancies and another WSO post.

We also seem to be getting a lot of OC Vacancies in other Wings being sent across by Region direct to all-users.

Maybe the Covid effect, people have re-discovered families and free time and are either not willing to return to the old ways or are under pressure from home command not to do so. Then add in the present financial squeeze and it adds up to a perfect storm.


I’m seeing the cross wing advertising as well - it’s almost as though they are trying to widen the net, but that will result in people being out of area.

I noticed on a recent Wing Commander post that they even mentioned that there is no requirement to be local, just a willingness to be “visible”.

It must be getting harder to find candidates.

1 Like

I have no idea how I would even find out about vacancies across our wing. We sometimes get OC adverts but communications are so poor generally I don’t know who is in post and where they are.

1 Like

Save as pEp here.

Nothing gets pushed out in the wing, but we’ve got WSOs running at least 6 units.

1 Like

Aside from the Covid fall out, it raises the questions

What are we doing to recruit new staff (there’s other threads on that)?

How can we retain the staff we have?

It’s always easier to keep someone than recruit new but the roles seem to be more onerous, especially OC, and a lot of people have to take on multiple roles because of 1 & 2 above.

Are we getting into a Doom Loop?


I started a thread about this sort of a while ago, asking how we actually train staff.

I think good training will lead to good retention. Locally we’ve managed to recruit a number of parents who are currently going through the join process. I’ve asked that we organise a sector training session day or weekend for new staff. My thinking was properly covering the PTS and other stuff we do in detail so new staff can see what interests them, then we can sign post them to become specialised in what ever area they want to do!


There’s a thread for that too!

It’s almost like we keep coming back to the same questions and conclusions…


The problem i have is exacerbated by the lack of CFAV overall…when I’m lucky enough to get new staff im too busy with all the other bits and bobs to devote the time to training them…and as new staff they dont want to give up their weekend for a staff training day.

At the moment it’s very much ‘on the job’ and im seriously considering opening a third evening dedicated to staff training and welfare.

1 Like

Keeping on topic, I don’t remember a time where so many have left, or are on the verge of leaving, with so few coming through the system to replace them.

And it sounds like it is a national issue.

I can only see it ending in a smaller RAFAC.

Does that align with the astra vision? I can see how a smaller, specialist, RAFAC could look attractive. But we seem to be doing a lot of shrinking and not a lot of specialising.

With so many on the way out I really struggle to see how the RAFAC will be able to reverse the trend.

We could make joining a smoother process, we can make getting into uniform easier, we can offer more training - and all of that would help take pressure off volunteers, but I don’t see it reversing the trend of staff leaving faster than they’re joining.


LaSER now have one vacancy system across the whole region. OC posts, sector commander, WSO etc all advertised. They even advertised the Wg Cdr from outside the region, as geographically it’s not too far away from some of the squadrons.


Top level numbers show more CFAVs than 2018…when told that i did say it didnt feel like it on the coal face

1 Like

Was this the response???


Completely agree for “new” staff (ie sub 5 years experience)

But what about the rest of us with 15, 20, 25 or more years?

We bemoan about the mandatory training and realistically dont feel like extra training will enthuse me any more to attend or engage more.
What i really want is to be able to use my experience and in some cases awards and qualifications effectively not retrain in new stuff

What we want is a good experience from the CFAV experience (regardless of rank) and unfortunately post Covid this isnt happening


There may be more staff though I bet there’s a lot of people who have left but not been processed. I’d also hazard a guess that on average the current staff are volunteering fewer hours then in 2018