Inside Air is a podcast series by the Royal Air Force. In Episode 14, the Future of the RAF Reserves is explored. The show speaks to RAF reservists who all have different life experiences, career aspirations, and the podcast episode also includes a substantial interview with the Commandant General and Chief of Staff Reserves, Air Vice-Marshal Ranald Munro.
The Commandant General references RF20 and the RF30 review in talking about the aspirations for making it possible to enable people to serve in ways that suit them, having a zigzag career as a reservist or full-time regular and vice-versa.
The RAF currently employs 3,290 reservists (Jan21 personnel statistics) and more than 32 thousand Regular personnel. The ambition is to lift that figure to 5,000 by 2030, and the Chief of Staff Reserves outlines how opportunities for career progression for RAF reservists are an intrinsic requirement in order to attract the best talent into the RAF Reserves.
Wing Commander Simon Briggs,SO1 Reserves Employer Engagement at the RAF provided more information about the industry sectors and locations where the RAF is likely to need the reservists of the future under ‘Astra’ (the next generation Royal Air Force).
Simon says: “With just over 1,200 amazing businesses currently supporting the RAF Reserves, we’re looking to increase the number of Reserve Squadrons and supportive employers in locations near to the centre of mass of the industries and skillsets we’ll need.
“This includes: Space (manufacturing, launch systems, domain awareness, earth observation, position navigation timing and technical aspects with integration within civil and commercial space); Data analytics and digital support. We’re going to need around 1,000 coders to help program our assets and support critical HR functions; Cyber and information (big data) specialists and further grow our traditional areas such as Airlift, Media and Medical. Exciting times ahead with mutually beneficial opportunities for all parties.”