No places at training camp for would-be soldiers

Prospective
soldiers are being turned away because the country’s only infantry training
camp is full.

The
Army is 8,000 frontline troops short of full strength, but after consolidating
all infantry training to one camp, it does not have enough beds for would-be
soldiers.

The
Army did use five regional centres, but now almost all infantry training is
done at Catterick in Yorkshire. A small number still train at Glencorse in
Scotland, but the camp’s infantry section is in the process of closing.

An
Army spokeswoman said the change has led to delays in signing-up new recruits,
and that all courses at Catterick are full until 24 June. "There has been
a slight bottleneck because of the move. There is nothing else we can do,"
she said.

She
added it would be a couple of months before the backlog was cleared, but denied
claims that many would-be soldiers have turned their back on the forces because
of the delay. She said most applicants are not ready to enter training
immediately anyway.

However,
opposition MP Patrick Mercer said he had heard of young men who decided to investigate
other careers because of the hold-up.

By Quentin Reade

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