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RFA - too old at 52?

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  • RFA - too old at 52?

    I am 52 and am wanting to change my career. Like many other people, I feel that my current career is dull and boring and there is a world out there to see. I would like to look at applying for the position of Logistics Officer but I do not have an HND in Business Studies, Hospitality and Catering or Logistics. I am therefore going to obtain one of these qualifications over the next 2 years and I want to know which is the best one to get?
    Is there a need for Logistics Officers? Is there a lot of competition?
    i am quite prepared to go down any route to get into the RFA so if my chances of getting in as a Logistics Officer are slim, is there any other particular role which the RFA is short of and what course should I do?

  • #2
    Hi and welcome to the forum. Firstly, no you're not too old to join the RFA. There is a 51 year old starting a cadetship very soon. As for Logistics Officers I can't really comment - I've not seen then recruit them for a few years. I do know that you can't do a cadetship as a Loggie.

    The RFA are short of engineers and are recruiting lots of cadets, they're also recruiting deck cadets so it's really up to you what you want to do. Why don't you give recruiting a ring and have a chat with them?

    Be aware that you'll need a B in GCSE maths for an RFA cadetship
    'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'


    • #3
      It's a major and life changing decision, and you only you really know if you are too old or not. You obviously will be starting at the very bottom again and will take 5 or so years to progress from newbie to useful in almost any discipline. You will of course need to meet the entry requirements prior to applying and then go through the application process, so you already looking at 3 years before you actually commence training, so do consider that. Also consider that you will up against a lot of good competition from people of all ages and with a variety of education and qualifications.
      Going in with your eyes open and a realistic view, hopefully there will be nothing stopping you. One final item to check, I'd go and do an ENG1 medical at your cost before going back into education so that you know you can meet the medical standards.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Thanks Blondie for your comments. Due to the RFA not having recruited for a number of years I think I will look at applying for deck cadet instead. I only have a grade C in maths and I don't have Physics so I will have to do these. Do you know the background of the person you mentioned or their contact details? Are there a lot of people who apply with maths and physics A levels/degrees and will people with these kinds of qualifications be at an advantage? I have a BA in French and Spanish, an MA in Social Studies and a background as an analyst programmer so not really relevant.


        • #5
          Thank you YoungMariner for your reply. I am aware it is a big decision to change my career and I realise that I will be up against some very good people who are a lot younger than myself. What can I do now to better my chances of making a successful application - clubs, qualifications, hobbies? I am going to take your advice by the way about taking the medical.


          • #6
            The person is a recently retired police officer. There are a few cadets who already have degrees on the cadetship but it's not the norm. I'm on the Foundation Degree course and so everyone has post-16 qualifications but not necessarily in Maths or Physics. Those on the Higher National Certificate/Diploma route have generally just got GCSEs or not enough UCAS points. I'm going to check myself but I have a sneaky suspicion that GCSE chemistry is acceptable instead of physics i.e you need either one of them. The B is maths is a deal breaker though so if it's an RFA cadetship you're after then you will need to get that. However, you could go for a cadetship with a company that only requires a C and join the RFA once qualified.

            I can't comment on how other companies view candidates in their 50s.

            update: the website does seem to imply you need GCSE maths & physics or Dual Science at Grade B
            'Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans'