The Ministry of Defence has released recruitment statistics for individuals aged 16 to 18 joining the Regular Armed Forces and Future Reserve Programme over three years, under the Freedom of Information Act.

The request, submitted by Mark Tovey, provides a detailed breakdown of the monthly and annual trends in youth recruitment from 2016 to 2019.

The data reveals a consistent interest among young individuals in military service, with recruitment numbers showing considerable fluctuations across different months, yet maintaining a relatively stable annual total.

Here’s a detailed look at the recruitment figures for each month across the three financial years:

Month2016-172017-182018-19
April260170170
May240230200
June200170170
July270260230
August200150110
September1,2206201,120
October3401,020290
November340290250
December605080
January290290350
February250180290
March7606301,020
FY Total4,4204,0604,290

The table indicates that September sees the highest intake of recruits each year, with a peak of 1,220 recruits in 2016 and a similar surge in 2018. Conversely, December consistently records the lowest recruitment figures.

The stability in total annual recruitment numbers — 4,420 in 2016-17, dropping slightly to 4,060 in 2017-18, and rising again to 4,290 in 2018-19 — points to a sustained interest in military careers among young people.

The released figures include both trained and untrained regular forces along with members of the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20).

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_817547)
3 days ago

No great surprise on entries. September, school and the summer over. December looking forward to Christmas. BUT. a little news… Capita have turned down 800,000 applicants over the last ten years, often after ‘phone “interviews” and taking up to a year, sometimes more, and very often after the applicant has applied multiple times. A great contract. 😠

Mike
Mike (@guest_817693)
3 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Geoff agree my nice is one of them. Recruit needs to be done by those who really understand the need not by non service people who like to meet targets without looking at skill sets!!!

Mike
Mike (@guest_817696)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Niece

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_817769)
2 days ago
Reply to  Mike

My God daughter is a Lt.Cmdr. and is furious about what’s happening. She doesn’t think she would make the pass now. Insane.

Bill
Bill (@guest_817893)
2 days ago

Capita have been an abomination but still sit there with the damn recruitment contract! MOD stop sitting on your hands. The armed forces are being starved of new recruits while not enough is being done to retain trained personnel.
Or is that the master plan?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_818581)
23 seconds ago
Reply to  Bill

Capita got an extension to their 10-year contract, despite shocking results.

Dern
Dern (@guest_818027)
1 day ago

Lisa did the source say at what point in the pipeline someone is considered “recruited”?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_818224)
1 day ago
Reply to  Dern

She is on maternity leave mate, doubt she sees this.
I only know as I contacted UKDJ due to some posts being moderated.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_818226)
1 day ago

Private companies have no right to be responsible for recruitment for armed forces ,get the old sargeants ,warrant officers ,keep it in house,not some faceless arseholes who know nothing, quicker process and speedier,THEN THE PROCESS WAS BY THE FXXXXXXG TORIES, MONEY GOING TO PRIVATE COMPANIES WHO HAVE NO GODDAM RIGHT FOR THIS STUFF ,QUICKER THIS TORY GARBAGE IS GONE THE BETTER ,LABOUR ?
WILL THEY JUST GO ALONG WITH THIS OBISMAL CRAP OR WILL THEY PUT RECRUITMENT BACK IN THE HANDS OF THE PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE THAT KNOW WHAT IS WHAT

Zephyr
Zephyr (@guest_818317)
13 hours ago
Reply to  David Owen

Wouldn’t surprise me if Capita is run, or influenced, by a “foreign-actor”, the low intake of recruits works in certain hostile countrys’ favour.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_818331)
9 hours ago
Reply to  Zephyr

Bang on bro 👏