The armed forces recruiting organisations do not specifically target areas of low unemployment. Recruiting activities are kept under constant review to respond to changing recruiting priorities and to reflect national and regional issues.
With reference to the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire regiment, Anthony West, high sheriff of the royal county of Berkshire, has described as cruel the dismemberment of the Berkshire regiment. In his statement of
I think that I can give my hon. Friend the assurance she seeks. We employ many techniques to attract people to our armed forces and I am pleased to tell the House that we are on course to meet our recruiting target. At the same time, however, it is important that we have no no-go areas for recruitment into the Army and our armed forces generally.
By allowing the Scottish regiments to keep their names, the Minister has acknowledged that name and reputation are a major tool for recruiting areas where there are unemployment difficulties. Will the Minister please consider the case of the Welsh regiments? The Royal Welch Fusiliers have an outstanding recruitment record, which could be damaged if their name is amalgamated.
The Minister will undoubtedly be aware of the meeting on
No, no is the answer, for the clear reasons that I gave Mr. Keetch just a few moments ago about the efficiency gains from ending the arms plot, including more infantry being available for deployment.