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Armed Forces: Future Force 2020 — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:22 am on 25th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Touhig Lord Touhig Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Defence) 11:22 am, 25th February 2016

Truthfully. But I have to tell him that the Government have admitted that there is a skills shortage in Britain’s Armed Forces. Indeed, they spelled out their preferred solution for solving the problem. In a debate on the Defence Reform Bill in 2013, the then Defence Secretary, Mr Hammond, said that the recruitment of reserves was intended to add specialist skills to our Armed Forces because they were easier to recruit from among the civilian workforce. Can the Minister name another country in the world that depends on civilian trained reservists to fill the skills gap in our Regular Armed Forces? Is it still the Government’s intention to pursue this policy? If it is, how is it going?