New Clause 1 - Age of Recruitment

Part of Armed Forces Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:15 pm on 25th March 2021.

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Photo of Johnny Mercer Johnny Mercer Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence) 4:15 pm, 25th March 2021

My hon. Friend is right that passing-out parades are a huge part of the journey of our forces’ families through the system. He will be aware, though, that generally we align with Public Health England’s advice and the Government’s direction. We are looking to get those parades going as soon as possible, and I am acutely aware of the effect on families of not attending them. Guidance will be issued in due course in line with the Government’s expectations on a relaxation of restrictions.

We welcome the independent scrutiny of Ofsted and the confirmation that it provides that we treat our young recruits well. Our armed forces provide challenging and constructive education, training and employment opportunities for young people, as well as fulfilling and rewarding careers. Following those assurances, I hope that the hon. Member for Glasgow North West will agree to withdraw the amendment, but I thank her for her careful consideration. I know that her husband is a veteran, and I am extremely grateful for the thoughtful way in which she applies herself to these subjects. I look forward to engaging with her further on these important issues down the road.