The rising unemployment caused by Covid-19, particularly reflected in the 18 to 24-year-old age group, offers a chance to boost armed forces recruitment in the UK. This article looks at the impact of Covid-19 on Armed Forces Recruitment.

The armed forces hit 93% of its recruiting target in 2019/20 despite Covid-19 disrupting recruitment and training flow during 2020.

In the short-term there is expected to be lower throughflow, but the indications are that this will be mitigated by improved retention and a good flow of re-joiners. During the 2019/20 recruiting year, recruitment was 31% up from 2018/19.

Covid-19 Armed Forces Recruitment

The forces have continued to run strong marketing and advertising campaigns which have been successful with the Army having a 100% recruiting success last year.

The forces are also treating the recruitment and training pipeline as one as they both influence recruitment in a positive way. Recruitment is under the same command as training, and that allows allowing them teams to work closely together as recruitment is not just about employing the required number of recruits but to enlist across all the different disciplines into training at the right time.

The appeal of the UK armed forces is being broadened to the widest cross-section of society possible, including women and ethnic minorities, to recruit a more diverse force reflecting UK society.

Covid-19 has demonstrated to the public that the armed forces are a safe employment area in terms of job security. This, combined with the economic challenges that the country is facing, is driving higher application volumes and better retention statistics. History shows that economic downturns always drive applications for the military, and this is providing to be true again during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Royal Air Force Covid-19 Recruitment

The Royal Air Force have adjusted their recruitment process with all face-to-face visits to AFCOs suspended and some stages of the recruitment process are on-hold but all applications remain ‘live’.

Some roles have a slower recruitment process and, in some cases, can take over a year to complete because training places for the considerable future have already been allocated. The recruitment process for some roles is much quicker because there is a current requirement to fill training places.

You may experience longer waiting times for your application to be processed due to Covid-19 but all applications will be actioned in due course.

The AFCOs are not open to visits or walk-in visitors but are open virtually via phone and email. Face-to-face interviews have been replaced by video interviews.

Pre-Joining Fitness Tests are currently not taking place, but medical examinations will continue t be held.

Royal NavyCovid-19 Recruitment

Royal Navy and Royal Marines recruitment and is continuing but changes are being made to accommodate COVID-19 direction.

Royal Navy Careers Advisers have ceased face-to-face interaction although, exceptionally, Recruit Tests are being conducted in the AFCO. Careers Advisers are still operating via telephone and digital communications and will be continuing to work to support applications.

The Armed Forces Careers Offices (AFCOs) are open and available to discuss any queries you may have over the telephone.  AFCOs remain closed to the public for ‘walk-ins’.

Medical screening has resumed and Pre-Joining Fitness Testing (PJFT) with Nuffield Gymnasiums is open for booking.

The Royal Marines has temporarily adapted its fitness testing requirements by conducting the strength assessment over Zoom.

Army Covid-19 Recruitment

Army assessments and training are still running as planned, but there are some temporary changes to the recruitment process.

The National Recruitment Centre is still operating to work to support your application, and you can still apply to the Army and work your way through the early stages to get the paperwork out of the way by the time you are invited to the Assessment Centre.

The Army Career Centres and Armed Forces Careers Offices are open. You will need to ring ahead to arrange your appointment, but Army Briefs are currently taking place as an online event.

Temporary Assessment centres are being used to ensure that Army assessment remains accessible to all even during period of heightened restrictions and lockdown. The temporary Assessment Centres are being positioned to reduce the distance that you may need to travel and take away the need for overnight stays.

Armed Forces Basic Training

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