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Analysing quits and separations from the Royal Navy

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Manning difficulties and retention of skilled personnel is a timely issue in the British armed forces, and especially in the all-volunteer Royal Navy. Allied with difficulties of matching personnel numbers and posts, significant skill mismatches can take a long time to eradicate, with obvious financial and operational penalties. In the light of these factors, a holistic understanding of the exit behaviour of naval personnel is vital for naval manpower planners. This paper analyses ratings’ voluntary (quits) and involuntary (separation) exit patterns from the Royal Navy using an independent competing risks hazard regression analysis framework. The results show that both voluntary and involuntary exits are pro cyclical with respect to macroeconomic and labour market conditions for both male and female ratings. Male ratings are more likely to quit or separate due to a lack of promotion to higher ranks as compared with females. Male ratings are also more likely to quit as a result of a hectic operational tempo when compared with their female counterparts. Frequency of sea/shore deployments also seems to exert a significant effect with respect to quits and separation outcomes of both genders. In terms of marital status married males are less likely to quit compared with their unmarried male counterparts, whereas the opposite is the case for female ratings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-228
Number of pages22
JournalDefence and Peace Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
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