Race Equality Awards 2016 - Champion and Executive Sponsor - Royal Air Force

Air Cdre Chris Luck

The RAF aims to achieve 10% to 20% Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) inflow by 2020. As Commandant of the RAF College and the RAF’s BAME Advocate, Air Cdre Luck is responsible for Youth Engagement, recruiting, selection and initial training. He has personally driven the development and implementation of a comprehensive BAME-focussed engagement and recruitment campaign.

Air Cdre Luck commissioned research to inform intervention development. He set annual targets for recruitment which are cascaded to every individual in the organisation and allocated funding to develop new training packages for recruiting and selection staff. The training packages include societal backdrop information, local intelligence and unconscious bias elements and generate knowledge-based confidence when engaging with BAME communities and in schools.

KPIs and objectives are reported via routine management processes and analysed at quarterly Management Boards, with resources applied where necessary.  Air Cdre Luck also has routine access to the Senior Leadership Team via the Diversity Steering Group ensuring diversity is on their radar and is resourced accordingly.

Air Cdre Luck also resourced long-standing youth programmes with a BAME and gender focus and established a young role model forum to inform senior decision making and RAF policy. A new candidate mentoring scheme has also been introduced, giving young BAME personnel across the Service access to role models, and Air Cdre Luck actively mentors BAME personnel.

Air Cdre Luck regularly attends BAME-focussed events to promote the RAF's commitment to improved representation and has hosted a BAME Conference with key stakeholders from academia and the communities to seek advice on engagement and recruiting, challenge misperceptions and raise awareness of career pathways. He also engaged with internal and external stakeholders, including serving role models, to inspire them to become more proactive regarding BAME diversity.

BAME recruitment has increased from 2.6% in 2013/14 to 4% in 2014/15, and the candidate mentoring scheme has increased BAME conversion rates by 30% in 2014/15 and by 50% in 2015/16. Young BAME personnel have been enabled to voice their views and concerns, which is informing the development of future training and engagement programmes.

Air Cdre Luck has ensured funding for a 10-year BAME-focussed programme with six new funding and outreach teams and ensured BAME diversity is the highest priority for RAF recruitment. He has also secured additional funding to expand the Generating Genius programme beyond the pre-GCSE cohort and to develop the A-level group further through focussed mentoring and membership of University Air Squadrons.

Air Cdre Luck's accessibility, particularly to junior BAME personnel, has created an environment that encourages open communications and transparency. This, alongside his personal commitment to BAME diversity, communicated at Leadership and Management Board levels, is key to his success. He also recognised the importance of intersectionality on diversity and inclusion programmes and has developed interventions that offer benefits on multiple fronts.