HC Deb 15 July 2002 vol 389 cc23-4W
33. Angela Watkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what measures he is taking to improve retention of engineers in the Royal Air Force. [66993]

Mr. Ingram

Improving retention across all Branches and Trades is one of the Royal Air Force's highest priorities.

The common thread in areas experiencing retention difficulties is the employability of and the opportunities available to highly trained specialists in the civilian work place. A buoyant market place acts as a significant pull.

A number of measures have been introduced across the RAF to improve retention. These include monitoring and managing levels of separated service, enhanced and more personalised career management, improvements to welfare support services, such as child care facilities, and a re-engagement package for junior ground trade personnel.

A review of the RAF's Engineer Branch structure is currently taking place. Among other things, the Review will consider measures to address any recruiting and retention issues. It is due to be completed by the end the year.