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Accounting for Army Recruitment : White and Non-White Soldiers and the British Army.

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  • Jc Political Theory
  • Economics
  • Education


A statistically based enquiry into recruitment into the British Army over the period 1987-2000 shows that two factors tend to induce young men to enlist: high levels of unemployment in the civilian sector and positive signals from the authorities that the Army is in a recruiting phase. The same result obtains, broadly speaking, in the context of both white and non-white (ethnic minority) recruitment, although the willingness of ethnic minority young men to contemplate an Army career is only about a quarter of that of white men, other things being equal. Correspondingly, the Army shows no signs of reaching the target agreed with the Commission for Racial Equality in 1997 for a 1 percentage point increase annually in the percentage of recruits being drawn from the ethnic minorities. This article has something to say about how the Army might improve its performance in this regard by offering more in-service training and education to otherwise underqualified recruits and concentrating recruitment effort on regions of high ethnic minority unemployment.

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