The aim of the day was all about challenging perceptions and stereotypes about the RAF amongst black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students and parents. Raising awareness of RAF trades and branches amongst the BAME community is part of a Ministry of Defence programme aimed at ensuring 10% of all service personnel come from BAME backgrounds.
During the day, the benefits and opportunities on offer were identified and Academy staff discovered more details to ensure that information, advice and guidance given about RAF careers in school is accurate and up to date.
Different trades and branches of the service were highlighted. RAF Cosford is not only home to No.1 School of Technical Training as part of the Defence School of Aeronautical Engineering, but also to the Aero Systems Engineering and Management Training School and No.1 Radio School, with all three coming under the Defence College of Technical Training. Within these branches there are many roles as was illustrated on the day.
The wide array of sporting and personal development opportunities available to RAF personnel was stressed including being able to participate in sports and activities in the UK and around the world.
Fully funded civilian qualifications ensure a smooth transition to employment on leaving the RAF, including a well-respected apprenticeship programme. Academy students and staff also undertook a tour of the base, taking in its sporting facilities, halls of residence, aircraft hangers and had the opportunity to get into the cockpit of a plane!
Manchester Academy students and staff took part in video interviews throughout the visit where they gave their views on the day. Both parents and students left with very positive view of the RAF and the advantages of serving in the military. In addition, the vast range of opportunities on offer within the Royal Air Force was a surprise to many.