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Armed Forces: Cadets

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 76108, tabled on 17 July 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of reduced funding for armed forces cadet forces on (a) career development for young people and (b) armed forces recruitment.

Answered on

22 July 2020

The Ministry of Defence does not allocate funding directly to the Cadet Forces and there are no discreet Cadet budgets as the cost of delivering and supporting Cadet activity falls across a wide range of business areas, agencies and organisations. However, based on Financial Year 2018-19 data, the latest estimate of the cost to Defence of the Cadet Forces is approximately £175 Million.

While funding decisions will be considered across all Defence outputs in light of the Integrated Review and Spending Review, the important societal benefits and social mobility that the Cadet Forces provide are fully recognised. The Cadet Forces offer outstanding value for money, not only for Defence but across wider Government Departments and society, and this has been captured in ongoing research by the University of Northampton.

The Cadet experience can often encourage individuals to pursue a career in the Armed Forces. Of the Regular personnel currently serving, 40% of officers and 26% of other ranks were previously cadets and we see no reason why this would change in the future.

The Government is absolutely convinced of the benefits of Cadets, not just for the young people who participate but also for society as a whole, and remains committed to supporting the Cadet movement.