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Forces Recruitment

Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what changes there have been in recruitment rates for (a) the Royal Navy and (b) the Royal Marines since the outbreak of the Gulf conflict. [112268]

It is too early to gauge whether the Gulf conflict has had an impact on recruitment to the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines since the process can take a number of months from enquiry to entrance and any knock-on effect would not be evident until later in the year. No candidates have withdrawn enquiries or cancelled interviews as a stated consequence of the conflict and the flow of expressions of interest remains high.The number of enquiries and subsequent applications to join the Service as Naval ratings and Royal Marines other ranks shows an increase of between 8 per cent. and 10 per cent. respectively on the same period for last year.