SAC Charlotte Somers: RAF medical Apprentice

I’m 22 years old and I joined the Royal Air Force after completing my A Levels in Economics, English Literature and Applied Science. I wanted to carry on learning, but I knew that an academic career was not for me. So, university was not an option.

My grandfather and father are both ex-Navy. So I knew that in the Services there’s lots of career opportunities you can take up in roles ranging from photography to aircraft engineering. I also knew that once you’ve chosen what you want to do, you’ll be encouraged to get the relevant qualifications for that trade.

Now I’m working as an RAF Medic at Brize Norton.

My job includes: providing emergency medical airfield cover, medical cover for the parachute training school, and performing preliminary examinations on aircrew and other patients to make sure they are fully deployable all year round.

I also perform electrocardiograms and hearing tests. I enjoy working in a demanding environment that requires an extensive set of skills, which my apprenticeship has given me.

Throughout my apprenticeship I have received on-the-job training and a salary that is a lot better than what I’d be getting if I was doing the same thing as a civilian. Not that I think I’d be able to get the same experiences outside the military.

I would encourage anyone who wants to gain more skills and qualify while earning a living to consider joining the military.

It’s a unique learning environment and there are extensive opportunities that are not available anywhere else.

Could you be an apprentice for Defence?

The Ministry of Defence is the biggest provider of apprenticeships in the UK.

From carpentry to cyber security, there are hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities available in the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force.

And you don’t have to join the military to train on the job. Find out more about a whole range of civilian Ministry of Defence apprenticeships including engineering, IT and business management here.