Despite the fact that foreign nationals have never lived in the UK, they will be allowed to join the British army. This is to be announced by ministers as part of the plans to help fix a problematic recruitment crisis in the armed forces. Currently, the UK armed forces are around 8,200 soldiers, sailors and air personal short. It is to be announced shortly that Commonwealth countries are no longer required to live in Britain for five years before they join the military. This requirement was necessary for Australia, India, Canada, Kenya and Fiji, but these changes will offer these countries more jobs and opportunities in the British army.
This significant change is in the hope that 1,350 new recruits join each year and with applications opening in early 2019, people will be considered for all forces including the RAF and Royal Navy, and applications from people outside the Commonwealth will be rejected.
Mark Francois, a member of the defence selection committee told the Telegraph: “Foreign and Commonwealth troops have historically been important and valued sources of recruitment for the British army and I welcome the recruitment limit increase”. The shortage began in 2010, and it seems like other changes haven’t worked well enough to add any consistency in recruiting in the British army.
The government’s original change was to let 200 Commonwealth citizens apply each year, this rule was implemented in 2016 and looks like it will become unrestricted soon. François has spent a year meeting MoD officials and military personnel also mentioned: “The army is disappearing before our eyes and will continue to do so until Capita are sacked.” Capita is the business service provider that currently runs the army’s recruitment campaign, and it appears that the MoD isn’t happy with their current progress.
Francois also mentioned some of the other reasons for lower recruitment are high employment rates, an ageing population, an increase in obesity and rising proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic people (who are less likely to join). Until now, these minorities haven’t’, and he recommended that efforts to attract a more minority ethnic groups as well as women need to be made.
Richard Meadow is a writer that works on topics in relation to employment, business operations and military solicitors. He is always interested in new subjects and articles to read about and enjoys writing about them. His current interest is around military personal injury claims and news related to this topic.