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Armed forces told to recruit more people from BME groups

DIVERSITY: Army chiefs told to hire a wider range of recruits

BRITAIN'S ARMY, Navy and Air Force will have to hire 30 per cent more recruits from an ethnic minority background by the end of the decade under plans to improve diversity in the armed forces.

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has told service chiefs that by 2020 at least 10 per cent of all new joiners will have to come from a non-white background.

He also wants to see the armed forces introduce schemes to improve minority representation at the most senior ranks.

Currently, ethnic minorities make up just 7 per cent of the armed forces compared to 12 per cent of the British workforce overall.

At the officer level, black and ethnic minorities make up just 2.4 per cent of the total workforce.
Even these figures are boosted by ethnic minority recruits from Commonwealth countries.

In a speech, Fallon said this was not good enough and that he wanted to see a marked improvement by the end of the decade. He denied imposing such a target was “tokenism”.

“We need armed forces benefiting from all the talent of the people they protect,” he said.

“Although 12 per cent of Britain’s workforce are members of an ethnic minority they only make up 7 per cent of our armed forces. That’s not good enough.”

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