Raja Janjua, from the West Midlands, was one of the winners of the RAF Apprentice of the Year 2020
Why was the offer of an apprenticeship important to you when you joined the RAF?
It was very important as it would secure me a career as well as allowing me to earn while I was learning.
What does this award mean to you and your family?
This award means that I’m getting recognition for doing my role, using my training and applying it to practical situations. It shows that if I work towards a goal I am able to achieve it.
And for my family, this has broken any historic stereotypes they had of the Armed Forces. I am now supporting a country that has supported my family, which in turn adds to my family and British values.
I would now like to help influence younger generations within my own community and faith.
Have any other members of your family served in the RAF or completed an apprenticeship?
No, I am the very first to join any Armed Forces, as well as to complete an apprenticeship.
What has been the best or most challenging thing about completing an RAF apprenticeship?
The most challenging event has been a large fuel spill, this happened on the dispersal outside of 28 SQN. I had to use all of my recent training to stop the fuel leak and prevent fuel from entering the drainage systems. The best experience of my apprenticeship has been to work with different people and take part in different tasks.
What would you say to young people considering doing an RAF apprenticeship?
You are learning from some of the most experienced people, learning your trade whilst at the same time getting paid a salary.
What are your long-term aspirations for your career in the RAF?
I would like to apply for commission and further my education with a degree in engineering.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I am really into my fitness and I enjoy playing cricket and basketball.
For 100 years, the RAF has been producing apprentices. What does it mean to you to be part of this 100-year history?
Being a part of the RAF 100th year as an apprentice is an honour. It shows how the RAF adapts to the future by teaching the younger generations essential life skills as well as providing experience of working in a trade job.
To find out more about apprenticeship training at the RAF, visit raf.mod.uk/recruitment/apprenticeships