Military recruitment falls far short of target

12/10/2013 10:34 PM

Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) Taiwan's armed forces have recruited 8,603 men and women in the first 11 months of 2013, just 30.15 percent of the Ministry of National Defense target of 28,531 recruits.

The number was about 300 less than the number of people enlisted during the same period of last year, the ministry said in a report submitted to the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and National Defense Committee.

The report described the shortfall as a result of "insufficient incentives" that made the military uncompetitive as an employer on the job market.

The report was submitted ahead of Defense Minister Yen Ming's appearance before the committee Wednesday to brief lawmakers on the progress of the 210,000-member military's efforts to transform into an all-volunteer force.

Earlier this year, the defense ministry postponed the transition by a year to the end of 2016, mainly because it could not recruit enough people to meet its targets.

In its report, the ministry proposed incentives including better pay, more benefits and job opportunities for veterans as a way to encourage young people to join the military.

(By Wang Ching-yi and Jay Chen)

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