RAF 100 CENETNARY APPRENTICE OF THE YEAR
The apprentice scheme in today’s Royal Air Force differs totally from our experiences between 1925 and 1973. Currently there are 24 different roles for apprentices from personnel support specialists, Logistics Suppliers and drivers, caterers to intelligence and engineering and within these trades there are some 2,700 apprentices. Once selected as an apprentice, applicants are required to join the RAF for a minimum of 12 years and then go through the full application process and phase 1 RAF training, followed by phase 2 (trade) training: This can last from 1 year to 3 years. Within Phase 2 training apprentices undertake NVQ training and upon successful completion receive enhanced rates of pay. RAF Apprentices are initially trained within14 ground trade schools according to their specialisation. They may complete their apprenticeship on a Main Operating Base and they may also work towards completion whilst on front line operations. Each apprentice joining the Service has the opportunity to obtain high level Civilian qualification with a guaranteed RAF job at the end of it. At Station level each apprentice is mentored by a SNCO overseen by the RAF Apprentice Management Team along with the Trade Management Teams at HQ Air Command.
Each year the apprentice who is considered to be “The best of the best” from each of the 24 apprentice roles is presented with an RAF Apprentice of the Year trophy. This year, the Federation of Apprentices and Boy Entrants were invited to present an award to “The very best of the best”. The Chairmen of the 4 Associations were invited to judge all the recipients of the individual trade awards to select the apprentice who they considered to be the overall RAF Centenary Apprentice of the Year 2018. At the RAF 100 Celebration dinner at the RAF Museum Hendon the award was presented by Air Marshal Sir Dusty Miller, a former Halton Apprentice, the Federation Chairman, to SAC Joseph Harry, a Logistics Supplier based at RAF Odiham.