Nearly £150m spent on recruiting for the Royal Navy, figures reveal

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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ALMOST £150m has been spent on recruitment for the Royal Navy in just a few years, new figures have revealed.

Figures obtained via a Freedom of Information request showed that between 2012/13 and 2015/16 £149.7m was spent trying to bulk up numbers.

Annual spending has been steadily rising, peaking in 2015/16 at £41.3m. Despite this, recruitment targets for the navy have consistently not been met.

The news has worried MPs. Tory MP and former army officer Johnny Mercer said: ‘It is clear that the military is currently experiencing a manpower crisis and with the amounts of public money being spent on recruitment, I would expect to see much improved results.

‘Perhaps it is time for the MoD to review its recruiting practices to ensure that the public is getting proper value for money and that the military is having its manpower requirements satisfied.’

In total, more than £1bn was spent on armed forces recruitment by the MoD between 2012/13 and 2015/16.

But according to the most recently available figures, the overall size of the army fell to 77,440 in October, more than 4,000 short of its 82,000 target, with the RAF and navy are 5.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent below their personnel targets respectively.

An MoD spokesman said: ‘In a highly competitive job market the armed forces need to recruit high quality candidates in sufficient numbers to protect UK interests at home and abroad. Proactive advertising provides excellent exposure and is a proven way to recruit suitable personnel.’