Anonymous personnel in RAF Hercules
UK

New £2.5m Deal To Shape British Military Recruitment

The Ministry of Defence has signed a seven-month deal with Deloitte to help develop a new recruiting programme.

Anonymous personnel in RAF Hercules

All three branches of the British military are below strength (Picture: Crown Copyright).

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has signed a seven-month deal with consultancy firm Deloitte to help shape the development of a new recruiting programme for the Armed Forces.

The agreement, worth £2.5 million, will run until the end of March 2020 and comes after figures released earlier this month showed a decrease in trained personnel across all three services, and as the MOD faces criticism for recruiting under 18s.

None of the tri-services are at their required strength.

Data published by the MOD shows the full-time trade trained strength of the Army was 74,440 as of 1 July, compared to the workforce requirement of 82,000 - a deficit of 9.2%.

The RAF total stood at 29,930 of the required 31,840, a decrease from July 2018's total of 30,280.

The Royal Navy and Royal Marines decreased to 29,090 of the required 30,600, a decrease from 29,150 recorded 12 months earlier.

The Armed Forces recruitment programme is still at an early stage, while the MOD says Deloitte will give consultancy support over the coming months to help "understand the recruiting requirement from across all three of the services".

A ten-year Capita-run recruiting partnering project worth £1.3 billion signed in 2012 has missed targets, with a senior Army officer admitting the firm had made "some bad mistakes and some errors" earlier this year.

Anonymous British soldiers boots
The Army faces the largest recruitment deficit of the tri-services.

In February, defence minister Mark Lancaster defended the Government's handling of military recruitment, stating: "All the signs are heading in the right direction," before conceding that increased applications would "take time to feed through into the strength of the regular Army."

Hundreds of thousands of teenagers receive their GCSE results on Thursday - which parts of the military have seized as an opportunity to encourage young people to consider signing up.

However, this has drawn criticism from one campaign group which is against under 18s joining the Armed Forces.

The Child Rights International Network (CRIN) accuses the MOD of "intentionally targeting young people from deprived backgrounds" to fix its recruitment crisis.