Anonymous Army recruits during passing out parade at Pirbright 280520 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY
Army

Army Records Most Successful Recruitment Year Since 2015

The figures show the British Army has also exceeded its target set by the Public Accounts Committee in 2019.

Anonymous Army recruits during passing out parade at Pirbright 280520 CREDIT BRITISH ARMY

The British Army has recorded its most successful recruitment year since 2014/2015.

In a written submission to the Defence Select Committee, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the Army has hit 96% of its end of year recruitment target for 2019/2020.

It also means the Army has exceeded the 80% target set by the Public Accounts Committee in January 2019.

In February, the British Army said it was set to meet its recruitment target for the first time since working with private firm Capita.

The Army's recruitment numbers have fallen short every year since signing a contract with Capita in 2012.

The service's recruitment targets had also been missed for a decade prior.

However, the MOD said in the written submission that the coronavirus crisis has affected its most recent recruitment figures.

It said: "The number of candidates loaded to basic training courses surpassed the target set and the shortfall in basic training starts was only due to the final intakes of the recruiting year being postponed due to COVID-19.

"The Army also exceeded the direct entry officer target of 620."

The MOD said the Army had lost approximately five weeks of basic training because of the pandemic.

Basic Army training was paused for around five weeks because of COVID-19.

It said it is currently running at 50% capacity and is not expected to return to "full loading until at least September".

Army applicants are completing more of their applications online, according to the MOD, with the help of military and civilian recruiters.

The MOD said it is "too early to assess whether this change in approach is affecting candidates’ success”.

The department also said feedback so far has been "positive" and "early indications are that applications are notably higher” compared to the same time last year.

It added it is "too soon to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the Army's workforce strength in the long-term".

The figures come after the Army launched a new recruitment campaign - portraying the service as a way to help boost self-confidence.

It has also relaxed some strict medical rules for conditions including asthma, eczema, and particular musculoskeletal conditions.

Cover image: Army recruits during a passing out parade (Picture: British Army).