Army: Young People

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The Army's review of Junior Entry (JE) enlistment has concluded. The Armed Forces offer some of the best training and education to people anywhere in society. Those opportunities begin at 16 with around 1,300 Junior Soldiers graduating from Harrogate each year. The Army Foundation College at Harrogate is the only JE Phase 1 training establishment in the British Army and the JE is a tried and trusted means of engaging young people leading them to a successful Army career. The college aims to create a well-rounded junior soldier, physically, conceptually and morally. The delivery of training is conducted in accordance with a carefully synchronised college programme and is aimed to be progressive and provide variety with a balance between classroom, camp and field training.

This review considered how the Army can continue to attract the best young people under the age of 18 and, in doing so, maximise the talent of the individual to the mutual benefit of the individual, the Army and society improving their social mobility. The tendency for under-18 recruits to serve for longer than their over-18 peers and the relatively high proportion of junior entrants that promote to senior NCO ranks over the course of their careers benefits the Army and the individual.

The Review found that while the JE scheme is performing well and remains attractive to potential recruits, it is not well known and could be advertised more effectively. To recruit effectively the JE model must appeal to all, including females and the growing Black Asian and Minority Ethnic workforce in the UK.

A copy of the report of the Army's review of JE enlistment will be placed in the Library of the House.

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