As your point of contact for RAF Careers Familiarisation Visits to Royal Air Force Cosford, I am seeking to raise awareness of RAF career opportunities.  The RAF needs quality individuals for service in the RAF; to this end, RAF Cosford offers dynamic RAF Careers Familiarisation Visits:

Aircraft Technician (with discrete Weapons Technician & Survival Equipment Fitter familiarisation as required)

24   January                  Mechanical;

25   January                  Avionics;

1     February                Avionics

2     February                Mechanical;

28   March                     Mechanical;

29   March                     Avionics;

10   May                         Mechanicl;

11   May                         Avionics;

21   June                        Mechanical;

22   June                        Avionics;

4     July                           Mechanical;

5     July                           Avionics;

Cyberspace Communications Specialist (ICT Technician)

26 January

7 February

9 March

4 April

9 May

18 May

20 June

6   July

13 July

RAF Police

6      February

27    February

17    May

15   June

Engineering Officer (Aerospace Systems and Communications Electronics);

31    January

28    February

29    March

24    May

30    June

11   July

Personnel Training Officer (Physical Training Instructor familiarisation also available as required on these dates);

19   January

8     March

23   May

12   July


RAF trades are accredited Modern Apprenticeships (please see attached). So, students may apply to join the RAF from 15 years and 9 months old on the basis of their predicted GCSE grades, with a view to enlisting on or soon after their 16th birthday subject to satisfactory exam results – hence, they can ‘earn while they learn’ (currently starting at circa £15K).

Candidates are expected to be conversant with  which provides useful background and context. Visits are entirely free with lunch provided gratis  too – all you have to do is turn up with well-motivated students promptly by 0955 in smart casual attire (suit or jacket and tie for officer candidates) armed with a genuine interest in what the RAF has to offer.

Visits often involve candidates undertaking practical exercises, for which protective clothing is provided; Visits are rarely undersubscribed and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Nominations should include student’s name, email address, date of birth and a contact number. Transport details will also be needed as well as staff and driver’s names too, please.

For planning purposes:

Assemble:     0955 hours prompt at Main Gate RAF Cosford WV7 3EX; Cosford railway station is opposite the Main Gate. Please ensure you allow for travel delays.

Dispersal:      1515 hrs from Main Gate car park


Squadron Leader Andy Thayne | Community Careers Liaison Officer| Building 156, Royal Air Force Cosford, Wolverhampton WV7 3EX| ( mil: 95561 Ext 7232 | ( civi: +44 (0) 1902 377232| 3 mobile: +44 (0) 7989 398442 | *  or



Post-16 Advice Night – TONIGHT!

Tonight we will be hosting a Post-16 Advice Evening in the Drama Hall from 4:30-6:00pm.  This event is directly aimed at supporting our Year 11 students in making decisions about their next educational step after their time at The Dean Academy.  This will be an opportunity for students, parents and carers to speak directly with a range of local providers who can give information about course choices, apprenticeships, applications and much more.  Our currently confirmed attendees are as follows:

  • Gloucestershire College (GlosCol) – including a representative from the Advice and Guidance team, for impartial advice, a representative for the Apprenticeship team.
  • Wyedean School and Sixth Form Centre including Mr Johnathan Lane, Director of Sixth Form & Associate Assistant Headteacher
  • Hartpury College
  • Forest Sports Education
  • Delphi Engineering Systems – CANCELLED
  • High School for Girls, Gloucester
  • The Armed Forces – including the Army and Navy (including The Royal Marines)
  • Adviza – Careers Advice and Support (
  • The Dean Academy Careers Team – including how and where to access information and support in-school

With application deadlines on the horizon, and Open Days passing, we hope that this event will provide a useful opportunity for you to get your questions answered in a more intimate setting than an Open Event might provide. It is being run exclusively for students, parents and carers from The Dean Academy.

If you are concerned about the event clashing with Chepstow School Open Evening, we would note that their event begins at 6:00 and ours at 4:30.  Our hope is that you might be able to visit us and follow on to Chepstow school from here in time for their later start.

We very much look forward to welcoming you tonight!

Welbeck Defence 6th Form College Information

It is that time of year again when we encourage Year 11 pupils to think about a career in the Army as an engineering officer.

Welbeck Defence 6th Form College in Leicestershire offers unrivalled facilities and academic rigour to bright students who wish to pursue a career in engineering in the Army (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Engineers, the Royal Signals or the Royal Logistics Corps) and benefit from the generous bursaries available at University. In order to make the most of this excellent opportunity we would encourage students who are predicted A/B grade in maths and physics to apply for the Welbeck Competition.

Applications can be made online at and are open until 9 Jan 2016. The selection boards take place in March 2015 and successful candidates will take their places at Welbeck in September 16 if they achieve 40 UCAS points in their top 7 GCSEs (see attached factsheet for scoring guide).

Please find all the information you need about Welbeck College below including the generous financial bursary available to successful candidates.

If any of your pupils would like further information please contact:

Cpl M Sharman AAC | Rec CoOrd | AFCO Gloucester | Britannia Warehouse | The Docks | Gloucester | GL1 2EH Military: 94533 2015 | Civilian: 01452 524539 | Fax: 01452 524588

Otherwise I would encourage pupils to visit the college with their parents as soon as possible. Familiarisation visit dates are attached.  Anyone requesting a visit should book online via the website

2016 Welbeck Open days 92547 Welbeck A5 leaflet 2 140710 Welbeck Fact Sheet (2)

RAF Cosford Opportunities

We are seeking to recruit quality individuals who meet the criteria necessary for service in the RAF from 16 years (Year1) and beyond.  To this end, as the Centre of Excellence for RAF engineering training, RAF Cosford offers:

– A wide range of aircraft engineering technician opportunities –  Mechanical, Avionics/ Electrics & Weapons Technicians

ICT Technician training – so much more than just ICT; includes communications, radar, cyber and networking too..

Aerospace Systems Engineering or Communications/ Electronics Engineering Officers

– ‘Ad hoc’ familiarisation visits for some of the other 56 Branch and Trade opportunities available in the RAF.  

Alternatively, the RAF Reserve offers paid spare-time (ie weekend) service in 30 Branch and Trade opportunities too, up to age 55.

Trade requirements for the Trade specialisations below are: 16-29 years old on enlistment; GCSE Maths, English Language (and a Physics-based or technology based subject for ICT Technician) at Grade C or above. All RAF technical trades are accredited Modern Apprenticeships, often leading to a degree (please see attached literature). Accordingly, students may apply to join the RAF from 15years and 9 months old with a view to enlisting from their 16th birthday, so that they can ‘earn while they learn’.

The following RAF Careers Familiarisation Visits are offered for genuinely interested students seeking a career as an engineering technician or engineering officer:

Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic

1 October                                Avionics/Electrical Technician

8 October                                Weapons Technician

15 October                              Mechanical Technician

20 October                              Avionics/ Electrical Technician

3 November                            Avionics/ Electrical Technician

10 November                          Mechanical Technician

12 November                          Weapons Technician

3 December                            Mechanical Technician

8 December                            Avionics/ Electrical Technician

ICT Technician

6, 13 October;

5, 19 and 24 November;

15 and 17 December

Where students show outstanding engineering flair and academic prowess, they may be better suited to a career as an Aerospace Systems or Communications/ Electronics Engineering Officer. Either specialization requires a recognised and relevant engineering related degree, for which sponsorship may be available. There are several entry routes, including Defence Sixth Form College Welbeck (apply in Year 11), Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (apply in Year 11), Bursary or post graduate (apply in Year 1 of university); please ask for details. Engineering Officer Familiarisation Visits are available as follows:

22 October;

9 and 16 December

Nominations for Familiarisation Visits should include full name, email address, DOB and a contact number. Places on these Visits are rarely undersubscribed and are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; if you need guidance to determine which would be the most appropriate Visit to align your students with, please call me to discuss.

Please note that it is not possible to nominate for a range of Trades. For wider awareness, I recommend all potential candidates visit; this is a necessary pre-cursor before attending a Familiarisation Visit as it provides wider information about RAF Careers which the Visits put into perspective.

Although confirmatory details are sent out nearer the time, for planning purposes:

Assemble:                   0950 hrs at Main Gate car park RAF Cosford (WV7 3EX); Cosford railway station is opposite the Main Gate.

Dress:                          Smart casual; business attire for engineering officer candidates.

Lunch:                          FOC.!

Dispersal:                    15:30hrs from Main Gate car park

I look forward to hearing from you

Per Ardua

Squadron Leader Andy Thayne | Community Careers Liaison Officer| Building 156, Royal Air Force Cosford, Wolverhampton WV7 3EX| ( mil: 95561 Ext 7232 | ( civi: +44 (0) 1902 377232| 3 mobile: +44 (0) 7989 398442 | *  or

We Have Twitter! Come Follow Us!

We are now sending updates and answering queries from our very own Twitter account!  To get info and updates straight to your smart device, follow us at:


You can also tag us or use our dedicated hashtag – #mylifeattda – in your tweets

Happy tweeting!

Closing Dates – Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College

“We have come to the end of a very busy term at Welbeck and I have attached the Principals end of term newsletter which will give you an insight into what our students have been getting up to.

Autumn 2014 Newsletter WIP

Since September we have held seven Open Days and have seen over 500 potential students visit the College.  There is still availability on our remaining Open Days next term, so if you have any students in year 10 or 11 who are interested in coming to the College, please do encourage them to apply to come for a visit at

This year the Army have brought their closing date for sponsorship to Welbeck forward, so any students wanting to apply to the Army to come to Welbeck in September 2015 need to have filled in their online application by the 9th January 2015.  Closing dates for the other services are as follows:

RAF                      27 March 2015

Royal Navy        15 April 2015

The Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) have had some delays in opening their online applications for September 2015, but we are expecting them to start accepting applications any day now and their closing date is likely to be 27 March 2015.  Students will be able to apply at

I hope this finds you all in good health and looking forward to your Christmas break.  From all of us at Welbeck we wish you a very Merry Christmas and the very best for 2015!”

Military Preparation College, Cheltenham – Open Day – Wednesday 3rd December

“Our courses are available anytime throughout the year as long as the students are under 19. The course is scheduled to run for two years and will give students the opportunity to achieve an Award & Certificate Level 1 in Military & Public Services alongside a NCFE Diploma in Uniformed Services up to Level 2. The course is split 50/50 between academic work and physical training and will fully support students through their Armed Forces application or other employment opportunities.

There is no cost to attend the course and, while at the college, they can claim back their return travel expenses to the college (up to £40 per week).

We have an open day scheduled once a month. Our next is on Wednesday 3rd December between 10:00hrs – 14:00hrs.

If you have any young people who would be interested in attending (or if you would like to attend), please book a place via Charlotte Jones by calling 08442 438438.

If you are unable to make this open day, please see the events page on our website for alternative dates.”