Recent data released by the Ministry of Defence reveals high application withdrawal rates for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) over the past decade.

This information was provided in response to a parliamentary question posed by John Healey, the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.

Healey asked, “How many and what proportion of applications were (a) received and (b) voluntarily withdrawn to join the Royal Fleet Auxiliary in each year since 2010?”

Andrew Murrison, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, provided a detailed breakdown of the application data:

Year of ApplicationApplications ReceivedApplications WithdrawnProportion Withdrawn

The data reveals fluctuating trends in both the number of applications received and the proportion of those applications that were voluntarily withdrawn. Notably, there were significant peaks in application numbers in certain years, such as 2020-21, which saw the highest number of applications at 3,204. This period also experienced a high withdrawal rate of 44%.

The proportion of applications withdrawn has varied widely, with some years experiencing relatively low withdrawal rates, such as 2015-16 and 2016-17, both at 11%. In contrast, recent years have seen higher withdrawal rates, with 2021-22 recording the highest at 47%.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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DENNIS ANDERSON (@guest_821579)
1 month ago

applications for what?

JackDusty (@guest_821605)
1 month ago

Who proof read the titles?

If it was AI, then it needs being sent back to AI spelling school!

Jon (@guest_821627)
1 month ago
Reply to  JackDusty

Hoo needz skool?

JackDusty (@guest_821641)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Love it. ❤️

Martyn B
Martyn B (@guest_821622)
1 month ago

I applied to join the RFA in 1984, had an interview in October never heard anything. Had an interview with P&0 in January 1985 joined the ship 2 days after the interview. Week later I got a message from home RFA had accepted me to start in February. Wages were approx £3k more with P&O with at least a months extra leave, retired from P&O over 35 years later.

Peter Wilkes
Peter Wilkes (@guest_821630)
1 month ago

Defence Journal need to deploy the spell checker before anything else!

G G1rv4n
G G1rv4n (@guest_821633)
1 month ago

The Navy needs to be on the ball more.

Quicker, more efficient and respond ‘faster’ to the applications.

The Pay is dreadful

The amount of money pissed down the drain by the government I.e PPE, Hinckley Point, HS2.

The Government (if we still have one that is) needs to have a good look at themselves. Like we ALL do

Chris Burrows
Chris Burrows (@guest_821644)
1 month ago

From what I hear, the application process is taking so long that people are finding other jobs and moving on.
A real shame as word is spreading across the industry which undoubtedly put others off applying in the first place.

glasgowgallus (@guest_821648)
1 month ago

Semi-literate, botched headlines, and the so-called ‘article’ is just cut and paste from an RFA press release… Honestly the laziest type of distribution… I won’t even call it journalism…

George Allison
George Allison (@george-allison)
1 month ago
Reply to  glasgowgallus

You seem upset, don’t be. We’re human and mistakes happen, just like they do on iScot. Also, you’ve made a mistake yourself, there was no RFA press release on this, were you unable to read the article because of its poor quality or did you just not understand where the information and analysis of the numbers came from?

Cygnet261 (@guest_821651)
1 month ago

Lett exRN personel join without union interference. I would if I could if I was given the chance when I left the RN.

John (@guest_821898)
1 month ago
Reply to  Cygnet261

That’s exactly what the RFA doesn’t need

Cygnet261 (@guest_822792)
1 month ago
Reply to  John


Marcus (@guest_821697)
1 month ago

There is just no benefits shit wage shit living conditions go civvy side get paid double better living conditions

Alex (@guest_821892)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcus

Eh pay is better than most cruise companies and they put you on a monthly wage which makes organising your life easier. Also given your living at home or on ship it isn’t the worst certainty been on worse ships

Cygnet261 (@guest_822795)
1 month ago
Reply to  Marcus

Have you ever been on an RFA? Conditions are better than a warship. Single ensuite cabins and better chefs. If you are away for six months or more you don’t pay Income Tax whereas RN personnel do. Get your facts straight before gobbing off.

FLJ3 (@guest_822848)
1 month ago
Reply to  Cygnet261

you have to claim your income tax back.. i appreciate i am being a little pedantic, but you get my point

Richard Ralston
Richard Ralston (@guest_821704)
1 month ago

No surprise. Crap terms and crap momey

dc647 (@guest_821761)
1 month ago

Once you apply it takes months and months to get a response people just forget about it and go for something else, it’s the same as the military because it’s hand over to a profit making private company who’s really not bothered how many get put through because they’ve got a nice big defence contract, plus the will either be Australian or US or European who don’t give a **** about our military or RFA.

Ian (@guest_821877)
1 month ago

Maybe they wouldn’t be in this situation if they weren’t so picky when people apply for a job….
i applied in 2009, I had 5 years as a Deckhand on deepsea trawlers, then 10 years as an AB / SG1A in the Merchant Navy. I passed all of the aptitude tests but never got an interview, when I asked why I was told that I was a loner because I’d been a lorry driver…..
Whatever happened to the age old interview question – what experience have you got….

Mike (@guest_821913)
1 month ago

This is because it takes to long for the system to process the application and therefore applicants go elsewhere!!

FLJ3 (@guest_822847)
1 month ago

I joined late in life (over 60).. completed an apprenticeship on peanuts of wages; however, now qualified and loving it. A great retirement job.

It wasn’t until I joined my first ship that I realised I was dyslexic!?!?