Work experience


There is a cadet at my squadron who is interested in doing work experience with the RAF. This would be during his schools work experience week and not on a Work Experience Camp. Is this a possibility or has anyone seen this happen before? I will be emailing ACLOs in the new year but was just wondering. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Ta :blush::blush:

used to be a regular thing during the summer when I was a cadet.

Best to email the ACLOs as you’ve mentioned

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I know in NI army do a five day event for folks at school based in an army camp I can’t see how or why RAF would turn down an ATC cadet doing a week with them

Worth trying the AFCOs too?

They might, Because they are army… not RAF.

Best bet would be the local AFCO.

Brilliant. Thanks

You have a PM

A word of caution, unless things have changed significantly I doubt this will happen.

A cadet from our squadron arranged their own work experience with the RAF, but this required someone they would be working with having a CRB (as they were at the time) and they had to find and pay for their own accommodation, which meant staying in their instance with an aunt and uncle who put them up and took them and picked them up each day. If nothing else accommodation would be a major problem, then there’s finding somewhere with the capacity to keep them entertained, given they can’t do any real work for the period. Even admin work would require access to systems etc and given how tetchy the MoD get about such things and the online etc training needed, would it be worth it.

At work stopped taking work experience kids from schools in 2005, due to the vetting requirements.

To be honest from what I’ve heard of locally through the cadets, work experience has to be largely self found and lasts on average a week, if that and be self-funded.


I did a self-organised week of work experience at RAF Leeming in 2015 at 15 years old. As Teflon says above, the RAF cannot accommodate work experience students, so they would have to stay in a local town and make their own way in. In my case I stayed with friends of the family and took taxis to and from the base each day.
In terms of organizing it, I stayed well clear of cadet channels and simply rung the local AFCO, who passed my email to someone at the General Engineering Flight at Leeming, and then I arranged everything through email.
Wrt Teflon’s comment that they can’t do any real work, I would contest that while the days might not be action packed, there were some fun little jobs that they could let students do. For example, a full strip, clean and reassembly of an L-85 is not something one does every day. Also, one gets a much better idea of the day-to-day of the trades than section visits on cadet camps will afford.
Keep in mind though that not all stations offer this, Both Lossiemouth and Boulmer are closer to me, but wouldn’t take work experience students at all.
I would definitely recommend trying, as I thoroughly enjoyed my week, but keep a back up plan in mind too. And feel free to PM me with any questions. Hope this helps


i’m afraid i’ve got to back up the discouraging posts so far - a couple of cadets from my Sqn have tried to access work experience both with the Army and RAF, and all the efforts have hit the sand for one reason or another.

from the other side of the fence, that of the host of WE, i can say with certainty that it was an administrative and practical nightmare, even when the experiencers (word?) were great. i’m not remotely surprised that places have dried up as i’d read an email from my CO telling me that my battery been selected to host a WE student with unrestrained horror.

effectively it meant detailing either an SNCO or senior Lt or Capt to babysit the WE student for the whole time they were with us, and no one has these people to spare any more…

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It is a shame that WE in any meaningful way has disappeared from the world.
We used to have kids come in and do things for real, which was checked like any noobs work before publishing. But it got to a point where we couldn’t leave them unsupervised and then there was all the other BS, which just hammered the nails home more firmly.

I was told by one of the admin staff at our primary school, they have WE for a week and just get them to help with getting rid of old files, as they can’t work with the kids.

The ACLO and AFCO are probably your best hopes, but in all honesty, I think it will be a no unfortunately. One Cadet on WE would be a nightmare for them to manage, DBS/PVG, no accommodation and then what do you do with them? Depending on what they want to do, they can’t actually ‘work’ so it wouldn’t really be work experience as it was when I did it.

The open, friendly approach of RAF Stations are long gone for various reasons.
I can’t even get Cadets onto Station to do a Section visit, which would interfere with no-one but my husband and a couple of my Service Instructors.
The last time I got them to do a Section Visit I had my knuckles firmly wrapped as a result and told that visits must go through the ACLO. I’ve asked several ACLO’s since and all the same answer - no.

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Health and safety mate.

It’s not in some flow chart or procedure.

We can’t think outside the box or show initiative, can’t be challenging management to actually manage.

Just follow your procedures like a good worker ant.

The biggest problems are having ALL people the kids might work with DBS cleared and insurance, as laid down by schools and LAs for taking kids for WE. Think outside the box and it goes tits up is something companies are unwilling to do.

The closest you seem to get to WE today is “bring a child to work days”, our place tried it and it was a nonsense. People just showing their kids around and this is what mum / dad does all day and not actually working.

Blame the writers of the Children’s Act and similar things over the last 150 years or so and then add in someone’s desire to generate jobs and cash and you get where we are.

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