§ Mr. Jenkin
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of Army Recruiting Group's budget has been spent for the current financial year; how many army60W recruits will pass through Army Training Regiments in the period 1 January to 31 March; and when he expects the Army to achieve full manning. 
§ Dr. Moonie
[holding answer 16 January 2003]: In the current Financial Year, as at 30 November 2002, the latest date for which accurate figures are available, 80 per cent. of the Army Training and Recruiting Agency's net resource budget has been spent. The total includes £64.8 million for the Recruiting Group, of which 68 per cent. has similarly been spent. The balances of 20 per cent. and 32 per cent. have, however, largely been committed.
In the period 1 January to 31 March 2003, a total of 4,390 recruits will commence training at Army Training and Recruiting Agency (ATRA) Phase 1 training establishments, including the Army Foundation College and the Army Technical Foundation College. The figure also includes Junior Entry recruits at Army Training Regiment (ATR) Bassingbourn and those commencing combined Phase 1 and 2 Infantry training at the Infantry Training Centre, Catterick. Only those Adult recruits who commenced training on 6 January at the other ATRs will pass out to Phase 2 training before the end of March; the present estimate of this number is 147.
The Army intends to achieve manning balance, in accordance with the Public Service Agreement, by the end of 2005. The Army's overall manpower requirement is dynamic and subject to continuing review in light of evolving doctrine, new technology and equipment and possible changes to the operating environment.
Recent performance has been encouraging, with personnel increasing by over 1,400 during the last 12 months.