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‘Stop choosing useless white male pilots’, RAF told

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‘Stop choosing useless white male pilots’, RAF told

Old 2nd Jun 2023, 09:12
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Originally Posted by m0nkfish
Started to go downhill from a recruitment perspective when they went all woke with their adverts IMHO. Rubbish like ‘you don’t have to be a pilot to fly in the RAF’ with short clips of people chopping potatoes and laying out knives and forks. The RAF is about flying aircraft and the recruitment adverts should unashamedly put that front and centre with some stunning and exciting aerial footage showing all the absolutely amazing things you get to do with aircraft in the RAF you cannot so anywhere else.

The RAF barely puts any adverts out now, when they do they are boring, bland, woke nonsense.
In the early 1980s I did a refresher Jet Provost course at Linton On Ouse.

My abiding memory of my time there is a very big sign which read:

The role of the RAF is to fly aeroplanes.
The role of those of us who do not fly is to support those who do.

I guess times have changed.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 09:28
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Originally Posted by gsa
We’re slowly turning her back into a positive view, but as lots have said, it only takes one in uniform that’s the voice of the service to put a doubt in someone’s mind. At least she’s still doing her gliding and a bit of rotary to keep her busy.
I understand, all I ever wanted to do was fly with the RAF. On my 13th birthday I range the local ATC and left a message asking how to join and leaving my phone number. I did that three more times and never received a reply. When I was 15 and the services came to my school for career days I went to the RAF desk and arranged for an interview and I heard nothing back (years later my parents told me that the school had forgotten to tell me the time the interview had been arranged for).

Anyway, my response to all of that was to pretend that I was no longer interested in aircraft or flying, and definitely not in the RAF. None of that was true, it was just a way to escape from the disappointment. Flying in the RAF is still the only thing I ever wanted to do, everything else has just been something I can do. If your daughter says she doesn't want to become a pilot in the RAF it could just be a way of dealing with the disappointment rather than what she really wants.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 09:52
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A growing problem with the RAF is that it doesn't actually fly that much - training, the Air Cadets, the lack of new aircraft all show less and less actual flying . And the conditions and pay aren't good (see other threads) - no wonder morale is so low.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 10:12
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According to census data; 82% of the UK population are white, so the vast majority of applicants in the UK will be white: Out of 10 applicants, 8.2 will be white and 1.8 will be BAME.

So what is this bloke Harwin on about? Why does he want to artificially change the recruitment proportions of the RAF? What will that achieve, operationally?

Artificially skewing recruitment racial proportions is racist, which I didn't think was allowed? Skewing the recruitment gender proportions is sexist; ditto.

If there is a problem - say, no female or BAME applicants at all - then the place to change teenager's perceptions about future working life and careers is at home and at school. At school, our careers advice was a 10 minute chat with a disinterested person in the last weeks of our last year. Far too little and far too late.

Careers and future working life need to be thought about and discussed well before then. Perhaps that happens now?
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 10:16
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Originally Posted by m0nkfish
Started to go downhill from a recruitment perspective when they went all woke with their adverts IMHO. Rubbish like ‘you don’t have to be a pilot to fly in the RAF’ with short clips of people chopping potatoes and laying out knives and forks. The RAF is about flying aircraft and the recruitment adverts should unashamedly put that front and centre with some stunning and exciting aerial footage showing all the absolutely amazing things you get to do with aircraft in the RAF you cannot so anywhere else.

The RAF barely puts any adverts out now, when they do they are boring, bland, woke nonsense.
May I ask what is 'woke' about people chopping up potatoes or setting a table?
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 10:24
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
According to census data; 82% of the UK population are white, so the vast majority of applicants in the UK will be white: Out of 10 applicants, 8.2 will be white and 1.8 will be BAME.
Whole I'll be happy to say it's gone waaaaay too far the reason for BAME/female representation in adverts that have run in the past is that the application rate (let alone the actual serving population) way way under-represents the population in both BAME and female personnel - iirc both are at about an eighth to a quarter of the quantity you would expect based on the population at large, hence the drive to make the job seem like it is more representative than it is. What that isn't is an excuse to select anything other than the best person for the job once applications are in. However, plenty of experiments have found that truly "blind" selection systems do way better at this than those that claim to be - that's probably part of the solution but I'm not sure how you'd run OASC blind in the practical arena. Interviews and group exercises on the other hand could easily be done in such a way.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 10:28
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
Then could he/she/they not compose their wording to appear a tiny wee bit less ambiguous?

FB
I blame the demise of ISS.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 10:57
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Originally Posted by pba_target
Whole I'll be happy to say it's gone waaaaay too far the reason for BAME/female representation in adverts that have run in the past is that the application rate (let alone the actual serving population) way way under-represents the population in both BAME and female personnel - iirc both are at about an eighth to a quarter of the quantity you would expect based on the population at large, hence the drive to make the job seem like it is more representative than it is.
OK, but the place to do that is not in the interview room at the workplace. It is about 10 years before that, when teenagers need to be thinking about what they want to do in life. And be assisted in making those life decisions.

At the recruitment level, employers should be concentrating on the best person(s) for the job from those who applied and passed the initial screening.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 11:28
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[QUOTE=Uplinker;11444652]According to census data; 82% of the UK population are white, so the vast majority of applicants in the UK will be white: Out of 10 applicants, 8.2 will be white and 1.8 will be BAME.

No. Very false deduction.

VERY
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 11:47
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Originally Posted by beamer
It defies belief that CAS, and PM for that matter, use Twitter in the first place.
Because "they" have been told by their teams it is a good way to communicate with the "target audience". Simple as that.


Originally Posted by Bob Viking
Is anyone actually able to answer the question of whether we have, or are about to, run out of suitable white male volunteers? Are the current crop of white males actually useless and failing to make it through selection or flying training?
Fairly recent ex-recruiter here - no we are not running out of white male volunteers. Plenty who are good enough.

The real problem is getting people interested in pinch point professions. Loads of applicants for aircrew and TG1, problem is getting people interested in other jobs IME.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 11:51
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I can't think of anything better than all groups in the country having children who are involved in its defence. That would bind us more together.

IMO people think that a job is not for them if they don't know or see anyone like them doing it. On-top of that I'm skeptical of anyone's ability to measure "the best for the job" with much accuracy because most jobs are changing all the time and the definition of "what is best" is being chosen by those who went before who naturally see their own qualities as being best. Therefore it's all an approximation and there must be some wiggle room to adjust parameters. After all we have huge defence procurement problems which might show that some important skillsets or qualities are being filtered out.

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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 11:55
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Originally Posted by Mogwi
As a rule they were extremely competent and very well liked by the crew.
Mog
I've had a long, mixed professional career (63 years) and have had exactly the same experience, Mog.
The one difference with all successful ones is that, because of old fashioned male perceptions, they all appeared to have tried much harder to excel in the once male world.
Some of our spoonfed, rest-on-their-laurels gentlemen would do well to take note.......
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 12:09
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I do wonder if this nonsense isn't eventually squashed, how far it will go...

Enemy troops advancing, remember boys, Women and Coloureds only, we have killed our allotted white male target..

I agree what was said earlier, by race and sex profiling, you are NOT sorting a problem, you are simply aggravating it.. far better to just recruit quality and that will come in all sorts of race or sexes, just do not record them, because when you do it opens up the tin of worms that we have today.

.

Last edited by NutLoose; 2nd Jun 2023 at 16:09.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 12:10
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To ‘quote’ our new King from his ‘columns’ in Private Eye - ‘Heir of Sorrows’ etc – ‘it really is appalling’ that in the second decade of the 21st Century the ignorance of the Typhoon Cpl and the female ATC Officer with regard to female aircrew is still prevalent.

One of the best of the ‘Two-Winged Master Race’ when I was a ‘directional consultant’ on the mighty Wessex (and that was in the late 90’s) was from the distaff side - S** A****n (as was)! She was competent, confident and had a good pair of hands. However, flying back from an exercise on the west coast of Scotland there was a great example of how the general public viewed ‘the laydees’ in the RAF even then.

It was a dark and dirty night, and I’m not sure if S**, the Crewman - WO A***** O****** - and I were the sacrificial lambs, but we were sent to schneeble down the Scottish west coast from Plockton to Ald on goggles. After a few, ahem, excursions from S&L flight at 1000’ amsl, we realised that not only was S** uncomfortable with the conditions, but the weather had deteriorated below limits, so we diverted to the fishing village of Mallaig and landed in the car park by the harbour.

After we had secured the cab (with a combination of the local police and the groundcrew we had down the back) we repaired to the local hotel, where, after ringing the DetCo back in Plockton to advise them to stay put for the night, we booked some rooms, and agreed to meet in the bar for a few large sharpeners and a debrief!!

Now anyone who knew/knows S** will realise that in civvys she looks nothing like a military pilot!! So, after a few G&Ts and a chat about the events of the transit, we wanted to order some food from the owner, a large, jolly, ‘rubicund’ guy with a somewhat unintelligible ‘westy’ accent…imagine a less than sober Rab C Nesbitt talking at you. So the conversation went something like this:

Mine Host: So you’ll be the guys from the helicopter, will you?

Me: Yes, that’ll be us!

Mine Host: That great! So what does the girly do then! Does she make the teas?!?

Me: Nope, she’s the Pilot.

Mine Host: Ach, away with you. A wee slip of a lassie like that! You’re kidding me. Nah, she must make the teas!!!

And off he went genuinely thinking that we were winding him up, and S** was actually a ‘Trolly Dolly’!!! I’d like to think that things have changed markedly in the intervening 25 years or so, but given the views of our errant Cpl and ATC Officer, apparently not!

That was also the same night that we ‘bought’ (for a pint of beer) a very large bag of Queen Scallops off a fisherman from Cookstown, Co Tyrone!!! And if anyone knows Cookstown you’ll realise that it hasn’t got a natural supply of ‘horny-handed sons of the sea’!!! But that’s another story altogether!!
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 14:43
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Originally Posted by Uplinker
OK, but the place to do that is not in the interview room at the workplace. It is about 10 years before that, when teenagers need to be thinking about what they want to do in life. And be assisted in making those life decisions.

At the recruitment level, employers should be concentrating on the best person(s) for the job from those who applied and passed the initial screening.
No argument here, as I said. The only thing that I think could be done is blind interviewing, as mentioned.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 14:55
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just recruit quality and that will come in all sorts of racial or sexes
Nutty said it right.

A real life example for you....involing a US Navy Command made up mostly of Civilians but a significant part of the Navy in its function.

Fellow Special Agent, Female/White/Heterosexual/Partnered but not Married.....conducting an Applicant Background Check on a White/Female/Single who interviewed well, was more than qualified based upon education, language skills, advanced degree in Accounting, was not partnered and self reported as having no Boyfriend/Fiance/Significant Other.

Consider this was still in the time period when you were Straight or. ineligibe for employment or retention.

The Agent did not like the fact the Applicant was not involved in any way with a Fella.....nothing in her investigation revealed anything derogatory in any manner...quite the opposite.

The Agent voiced her concerns about this and indicated she was going to make an issue of that in her report but suggest the Applicant not be considered for Hiring.

When I asked what evidence she had that indicated the possibility the young Lady was a Lesbian....which in plain language is what she was being accused of by the Agent......the reply was only along the lines of "She does not have a Boy Friend or any evidence of having been involved with a Boyfriend.

I reminded her that in the rural part of South, in small communities, there were occasions where really motivated young people focused upon their education and often times came from families with a strong religious faith, and perhaps considering all of that and the voluminous information contained in the Background Investigation that just perhaps that might be the kind of person the Applicant was.

I also suggested that a young Woman that was not promiscuous before marriage might just be a person with high moral standards founded upon her upbringing and unless she had something that pointed to and confirmed her "suspicions".....she would be far better served just to report her findings as they actually were....but if she really felt she was correct then she best get her ass out of the office and into the field and find information to prove herself right.

That young Woman made a fine Agent, wound up working important Fraud Cases, and I never got a Christmas Card since from the Agent doing her background investigation.

Eliminating prejudice and bias from a recruiting system is hard but that should be the goal.....not quotas or percentages or a hand on the scale to achieve either.....but making the system blind to anything that has nothing to do with ability, education, character, and motivation by the Applicant.

When sitting on Applicant Review Boards I tried hard to look beyond the physical, other. than the necessary physical ability to perform the requirements of the job, and look for the more important aspects of the Candidate.

In Army terms....my evaluation went along the lines of would I like to have that person in a Foxhole or Cockpit with me and could I depend upon them to meet the demands of the situation.



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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 15:58
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You can eliminate all the prejudice you like but if a particular racial group would rather be a footballer, a lawyer or an undertaker you won't get the applicants. I have always maintained that inside every good pilot there was a little boy or girl watching at an airport fence. You either have it in you or you don't.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 16:27
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Originally Posted by Whenurhappy
I blame the demise of ISS.
When I was at Finningley, in the run up to Christmas if you saw ISS on the flying programme it meant ‘In Sheffield Shopping.’ DOCS was ‘Day Off Christmas Shopping.’ There were others but time and alcohol has dulled the memory. Apologies for the thread drift.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 17:52
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Originally Posted by BANANASBANANAS
When I was at Finningley, in the run up to Christmas if you saw ISS on the flying programme it meant ‘In Sheffield Shopping.’ DOCS was ‘Day Off Christmas Shopping.’ There were others but time and alcohol has dulled the memory. Apologies for the thread drift.
One doesn't even need abbreviations.
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Old 2nd Jun 2023, 17:58
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Originally Posted by downsizer
Fairly recent ex-recruiter here - no we are not running out of white male volunteers. Plenty who are good enough.

The real problem is getting people interested in pinch point professions. Loads of applicants for aircrew and TG1, problem is getting people interested in other jobs IME.
Is there an element at work here in that the services in general, as they've been shrunk by the politicians, have begun to become invisible to the general public on a regular basis.
Simple things like the Royal Tournament and other similar events that housed large recruitment and information for youngsters that might prick an interest, and not just aircrew. I remember all sorts of trades and aspects of RAF, RN & Army etc being championed at Earls Court in the displays.
Similar the total lack of any RAF At Home Days on bases now for the recruitment teams and displays to attend.....
Even the demise of things like the RAF and RN Search and Rescue is another readily visible aspect of the RAF (and RN) that has disappeared from public view. Not to mention high street recruitment offices long gone.
And if they think all that sort of thing can be replaced by a few social media posts and a couple of rather vague TV ads, then that just highlights how out of touch with being in touch, they really are. You can't expect to attract some of the people they are trying to attract when the service is largely now invisible to those people.
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