Army ‘must diversify’ over recruits

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Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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The career structure of the Army needs to be overhauled so that woman soldiers can “pull right through to the top”, the head of the service has said.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, the Chief of the General Staff, said that the Army would increasingly have to recruit from among women and ethnic minorities if it is to bring in the numbers it needs.

Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, he said the service had to change in order to reach out to all sectors of society.

“We have a career structure at the moment which is fundamentally a male career structure,” he said.

“It has in it a number of break points which sadly encourage women to leave rather than encouraging them to stay.

“What we have got to do is to have a career structure that genuinely provides women to pull right through to the top of the Army so that we maximise the talent that is available in 51% of our society.”

Gen Carter said that the changing make-up of the population meant that by the end of the decade, around one-in-four new recruits would have to be drawn from ethnic minorities.

“Demography is changing. The traditional cohort whence we recruited – 16-to-25-year-olds, white Caucasian – is shrinking,” he said.

“The plain fact is to replace that we will have a challenge in about five years’ time that probably 25% of our recruits will need to come from the black-Asian minority ethnic community.

“That requires us to think much harder about the way in which we embrace the consequences of diversity and the way in which we change the organisation to be one reaches out to all types of British society because if we don’t do that we won’t have the necessary talent to be able to deliver what the nation requires in the future.”

He said the need for greater diversity meant the culture of the service would have to change in order to stamp out bullying and harassment.

“It is not good enough that we still have significant numbers of complaints of bullying, harassment and discrimination. These are areas that we genuinely have to attend to,” he said.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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