Three in four British army hopefuls quit over waiting list – despite recruitment crisis | UK | News

Three in four people who apply to serve in the British Army give up on the process due to the months-long waiting list. Since 2014, more than 800,000 applicants out of the total 1.1 million withdrew their army application before being given the chance to serve. This is despite a recruitment crisis at the heart of the UK’s armed forces.

Last month, the Commons defence committee said personnel were leaving faster than they could be recruited.

MPs warned that Britain would not be ready for a “high-intensity” war unless shortages in personnel and equipment are rapidly addressed.

In their report, MPs said the “offer” to recruits had to be improved.

The shocking treatment of applicants saw more than 100,000 wait six months for a response before giving up over the last ten years

Army sources claimed that the average time between expressing interest and commencing training was 5.3 months.

Last year alone, almost 74,000 people who applied to join the army, RAF or navy withdrew

There are mounting concerns that the number of personnel could drop below the target force within months.

The shrinking military now numbers around 73,000 – compared with around 100,000 in 2010.

Shadow defence secretary John Healey blasted the unsettling number of withdrawals.

He said: “Hundreds of thousands of people willing to serve and defend their country have simply given up on their ambitions, while ministers have failed to get to grips with the problems.

“The Conservatives have presided over 14 years of failure in defence — missing their recruitment targets every year.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps admitted the recruitment system was “ludicrous”.

He went on to complain that the current ‘Amazon’ generation would not wait for months to get into the army since they were used to getting everything instantly.

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