Australians are turning away from a sagging jobs market and looking to the country’s military forces for a stable career alternative as the global coronavirus epidemic shows no sign of easing.
Year-on-year applications for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) are up by close to 40 per cent in April alone, acccording to a report in the Melbourne Age.
The decimation of the aviation industry amid global travel restrictions underpinned the influx, according to recruiters cited by the newspaper.
Director of military recruiting Captain Jan Noonan (RAN) said there had been application spikes previously but the current “acceleration” in the 2020 period was something new.
During the global financial crisis, for example, the impact on applications lagged some four months after the job crunch began, she said.
Applications to join the ADF were up by close to 4300 from December through March, an increase of 18 percent on the same period in 2018-19.
The figures continued rising into April, by which time the ADF was processing a total of 39,000 prospective recruits, the highest number in at least four years, Captain Noonan told the Age.
Captain Noonan said the interest from former airline employees had comprised the gamut of professions, including pilots, engineers and hospitality staff.
“But not everyone has wanted to do the same job they’re currently doing and that is one of the benefits [of the ADF],” she said. “There are more than 300 different jobs in the Defence Force, so we can help people from all walks of life in choosing a career path.”
Australia has had a low casualty rate during the coronavirus crisis, stemming in part from the decision taken on February 1 to close its borders to non-citizens arriving from mainland China, as Breitbart News reported.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said only “Australian citizens, Australian residents, dependents, legal guardians or spouses” would be permitted into the country from mainland China until further notice.
“The arrangements are being put in place through our border authorities to ensure that that can be actioned,” he added.
Any non-citizens that arrived after February 1 were “subject to mandatory quarantine” if they not agree to return to their “port of origin.”
The tough border closure decision taken by the conservative coalition leader Morrison worked.
Australia has reported far fewer cases of infection than many nations. It has seen 102 deaths across the country – the last was a month ago.