Sandhurst has seen a surge in applications this year as the former head of the army said a downturn in the jobs market has made more graduates consider serving with the British Army.
The Daily Telegraph understands that applications for officer entry at the Royal Military Academy rose by 62 per cent compared to last year, with overall applications for soldiers and officers combined up by 32 per cent.
General Lord Dannatt, former chief of the general staff, told this newspaper that it was not “surprising” applications had risen in the year the world comes to terms with the coronavirus pandemic.
“The fact there is a 62 per cent increase is largely down to a lot of young people leaving university, majority are graduates, they'll have looked at career possibilities and realised the army is a good option when other opportunities aren't looking promising, I'm not surprised,” Lord Dannatt said.
“We know a lot of businesses will struggle once the furlough scheme ends and there will be a reduced number of jobs for graduates in the labour market, but the Army always needs a healthy intake of qualified people so why wouldn't they apply? A year developing your leadership skills is something special.”
It comes as Sandhurst prepares to host its first ever virtual insight day next week.
An army source said that the event, which will be held on Zoom on August 12, looks set to have 1000 potential recruits logging on to join in a live tour of the gym and speak to serving officers about life at the academy, as well as commanders.
The last physical insight day Sandhurst held had 560 people attend, of which 358 were potential recruits and 202 parents and guardians.
“This year we expect to hit the 1,000 people limit on the virtual insight day,” the source added.
“They may also have mums and dads sat around the laptop with them, so this figure is quite incredible. It shows how we are adapting to the covid challenge.”