There are an average of 56 people per entry this term. They will be split into 2 classes, Port and Stbd. On average the classes will lose 4-5 recruits over the 9 weeks for a variety of reasons eg PVR, DUDT etc.
I have looked at the plot for this term and my next class has only 52 in it. But I suppose with less ships and the new carriers being put back again there isnt a need to recruit so many. In fact we now have 3 blank weeks between classes as instructors instead of 2.
There's been a large increase in applicants over the previous 12 months & doubtless less are leaving so there's fewer jobs available.
Let's hope the RN doesn't repeat the mistake of suspending recruiting entirely, which happened in the early 90's & lead to a "black hole" in the rank structure of several trades. This black hole has only recently begun to be recovered ironically, because of the recession & the lack of civilian jobs.
At the moment the RAF have stopped processing 'ground trades' beyond sitting the recruiting test. If the economy begins to recover, watch out for the delayed panic signalled by a rash of TV & cinema advertising once again as the floodgates open & those serving start to leave in larger numbers once more, enticed by 'better-paid' civilian jobs & the "grass is greener" viewpoint.
We seem to be having record numbers of trained re-entrants joining-up at the moment, so obviously there aren't many jobs out there just yet.
To my mind, Raleigh Instructors thoroughly deserve a 3 week pause between classes - enjoy whilst you can!