icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

British Army fails to attract new recruits, missing manpower target by thousands

British Army fails to attract new recruits, missing manpower target by thousands
Army recruiters missed their targets by a margin of 2,500 troops in 2016, new figures show. Combat infantry attracted especially low interest.

The latest figures were released after a parliamentary question by former Labour Defence Minister Kevan Jones.

The statistics show that despite a target of 9,580, the army recruited just 6,910 regular soldiers over the last 12 months – a shortfall of 28 percent.

Hardest hit was the infantry, which despite a target figure of 3,480 convinced just 2,380 troops to sign up.

The figures, delivered in the House of Commons by Armed Forces Minister Mike Penning, show there is also a shortfall in the number of officers, with only 633 joining despite a target of 750.

Targets are internally set by the army recruitment and training division and are subject to constant change and review,” Penning said.

In response, Jones said: “These figures show just how serious the army’s manning shortfall is and ministers need to clarify whether or not this is a deliberate attempt to balance the defense budget.

No action on this issue will just lead to further overstretch for our armed forces and in turn even worse recruitment and retention.

The House of Lords also debated recruitment with Tory peer and defense minister Lord Howe answering questions from Labour’s Lord Touhig.

Howe said a growing economy and national skill shortage meant military recruiting could not be “taken for granted.

In response we have in place a number of short and long-term plans to ensure that the offer of military service in the armed forces continues to be competitive, so that we can recruit and retain in sufficient quantity to meet the strength targets set out in the strategic defense and security review 2015,” Howe told the Lords.

Under measures introduced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2010, the army alone has been cut from 120,000 personnel to fewer than 82,000.

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.