Interest In Joining The Royal Navy ‘Surges’ During COVID Pandemic

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Interest in joining the Royal Navy has ‘surged’ during the coronavirus pandemic, the Navy has said.

Applications to join the Royal Marines, Royal Navy and RFA are up by about a third on 2019.

For commissioned officers, the figures went up by around 34%. For NCO ranks, including commandos, the figures went up by 28%

Captain Pete Viney, head of recruiting for the Royal Navy, said: 

“We’ve clearly seen an increase in interest in people wanting to join the Royal Navy – and that’s across the board: the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

“A 30% rise in applications is really healthy.”

To cope with the increase in demand, the Royal Navy has turned HMS Collingwood into a ‘basic training’ establishment which resulted in 500 recruits passing through its doors. 

HMS Collingwood is the RN’s Weapon Engineering and Warfare school and is also its largest training establishment. 

BRNC Dartmouth has also started to welcome non-commissioned recruits. 

This is the second intake of junior recruits to start their 10-week basic training at the Naval College. 

The RN’s basic training for junior ratings has always traditionally taken place at HMS Raleigh.

And even though HMS Raleigh increased its capacity for new recruits, more space is still needed. 

Capt Viney added:

“We’ve not stopped for a single moment – we have continued to provide the Navy with the people it needs to do its job both today and tomorrow.

“COVID has had a marginal impact on some training availability, but in good naval fashion, we’ve adapted.

“In fact, the pandemic has also allowed us to break free from the way we’ve done things for decades, to better use technology, to do things differently to meet the realities of the 21st century.”

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