19 March 2024

Air Force launches new recruitment campaign to get more people 'Up There'

| Andrew McLaughlin
Start the conversation
RAAF Up There campaign

The RAAF is hoping to expand its personnel numbers. Image: ADF.

The Royal Australian Air Force has launched a new advertising campaign as it seeks to shore up flagging recruitment numbers.

The ‘Up There, where potential lives’ campaign was launched on the weekend by Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel Matt Keogh, and is designed to showcase the diverse opportunities available for future RAAF aviators – from medical, intelligence and aviation roles – in the air and beyond, into the space and cyber domains.

Considered to be the best performing of the Australian Defence Force’s three major services, the RAAF isn’t resting on its laurels as the ADF seeks to expand its uniformed personnel numbers across the board.

“The ‘Up There’ campaign highlights the diversity of roles across our Air Force, not just in terms of flying, but the technical roles, the mechanics, the technicians, electronic warfare, cyber and also the space domain,” Minister Keogh told media on Sunday (17 March).

“Making sure that people see the full breadth of opportunity in our Air Force as part of growing not only our Air Force, but our entire Defence Force where we need to be growing, so many different diverse roles that people don’t necessarily know exist in our Defence Force.”

READ ALSO Much-delayed F-35 JSF program finally achieves full-rate production milestone

The campaign will comprise print ads, 60- and 30-second television ads, and four 15-second television ads.

Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Robert Chipman said the campaign highlighted the variety of roles available in the Air Force.

“The Air Force is a modern, future-focused and technologically advanced organisation, delivering air power as part of the joint force,” he said.

“We need to continue to build an intelligent and skilled workforce that supports Air Force’s current and emerging capabilities.

“I encourage all young Australians to consider their potential and a career full of challenge, adventure and purpose, up there.”

AIRMSHL Robert Chipman

Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Rob Chipman said the RAAF needed to build an intelligent and skilled workforce that supported Air Force’s current and emerging capabilities. Photo: ADF.

Acting Chief of Personnel Major General Wade Stothart said ‘Up There’ was aimed at promoting Air Force careers to Australians aged between 16 and 35.

“A career in the Air Force enables you to operate leading technology and receive world-class training and education, along with a range of other benefits available to all Australian Defence Force personnel,” he said.

“We know people are seeking a competitive salary, job security and flexible hours – a career in the Air Force can provide all of these things and more.

“There are a variety of recruitment pathways for people who are curious about a role in the Air Force, from entry-level for young people straight out of school to mid-career professionals seeking a change of course.”

The launch of the campaign comes in the face of falling recruitment number across the ADF. Despite a stated goal to increase uniformed numbers by some 30 per cent by 2040, overall numbers have actually fallen by some 1800 in recent years as recruitment has failed to keep pace with the number of those separating from the ADF.

READ ALSO New podcast helps ADF members transition to civilian life

“We saw the numbers of people leaving only a few years ago was more than those people that were joining up,” Minister Keogh said.

“I’m very happy that we are now seeing a situation where that attrition rate, the rate at which people are leaving our Defence Force has fallen significantly. That’s great. We’re holding on to more people.

“But we always need to grow when it comes to recruitment. And that’s really important. That’s why we’ve got a new recruitment partner that we’re working with, that we’re looking at how we can remove bottlenecks in that recruitment process,” he added.

“We’ve got really low unemployment in Australia; that’s a great thing for our nation. But it does mean that we need to put in extra effort into the work that we’re doing to recruit into our Defence Force. That’s what this advertising campaign is about.”

The former Defence Jobs recruitment branding changed to ADF Careers last July after Adecco Australia was named as the ADF’s new recruitment partner in late 2022.

The rebranding came out of the 2023 Defence Strategic Review (DSR) which recommended changes to policy, process, risk appetite and the ADF’s approach to recruitment to be able to meet its workforce goals.

This included the appointment in June 2023 of a three-star officer as Defence’s first Chief of Personnel.

The DSR also led to an increase in retention bonuses to as much as $50,000 as an incentive for ongoing service beyond an ADF member’s initial period of return of service obligation, and a review in the defence housing policy following increasing interest and rental rates and a shortage of suitable properties to rent or buy.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.