Figures show that nearly 100 per cent of the target for new candidates to start basic training this year has been met, with seven weeks to go until the end of the recruiting period. This comes as it is revealed that over 100,000 people applied to join the Army since April, an increase of at least 5 per cent over the same period last year and the highest in recent years.
Minister for the Armed Forces Anne-Marie Trevelyan said "I'm delighted to see the improvements in the Army's recruitment figures over the last recruiting year, which is a result of both the Army and Capita working together to deliver the talent and numbers we need into the British Army. We remain committed to ensuring that the British Army has the right people, in the right roles, in the right timeframe to deliver on all our operational commitments."
The latest figures demonstrate the Government’s commitment to improving the Army’s recruitment process, while equipping people with world class training, education and positive behavioural attributes to help them deal with the demands and challenges of life.
The results follow the new recruitment campaign for 2020 unveiled last month. Drawing on research by the Prince’s Trust and Deloitte which shows that young people believe a lack of self-confidence is holding them back, ‘Army confidence lasts a lifetime’ highlights the unique and deep-rooted confidence that an Army career offers.
Changes over the past 18 months include making the application process more efficient, a more flexible approach to how candidates are assessed and altering the pace so everyone can reach basic training at a pace to suit their individual needs.
Medical processes have also been modified for the modern era, such as making rules less rigid to the medical entry standards on asthma and eczema and encouraging more physical examinations instead of relying on documentation.
Maj Gen Paul Nanson CBE It is our duty to make sure we’re reaching the right people for a promising career in the Army, and these results show that the latest efforts are successfully driving applications to record levels in recent years.
“The recruitment process must be as efficient as possible, and I am proud that we’ve overcome initial challenges and successfully turned a corner in our ability to support ambitious and talented candidates to start basic training”.
Cath Possamai Chief Executive Officer of British Army Recruiting Group said “Capita’s partnership with the Army is on course to hit the full target of soldier recruits this year. This follows a complete re-set of the partnership over the past two years, which has seen us work incredibly closely with the Army. This has resulted in a major, successful turnaround of the contract."
“We will continue to make improvements to the partnership so that this is not just one strong year. We want to perform at consistently high levels, making sure that the Army has a recruiting process and system that is fit for the 21st Century.”
Once recruited young people are offered basic training and leadership opportunities at establishments like Army Foundation College in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. This has been at capacity for the past three intakes.
Lt Col Richard Hall MBE, Commanding Officer The Army Foundation College provides the world’s most comprehensive basic training to soldiers. I’m incredibly proud of how the college delivers unparalleled education success to a generation of soldiers – many of whom will go on to be the Army’s future leaders.
The college opened its doors to guests yesterday to show an energised haul of young recruits practice for their passing out parade. With over 30 per cent of the current college population having been excluded from school, it nurtures untapped talent and helps to get their lives on a stable course.
The latest figures also show that three out of four young recruits at the college continue to pursue a career in the armed forces after they ‘pass out’ or complete their course – suggesting people’s lives are being turned around irrespective of background.