13:10 14 January 2014
The Commons Defence Committee has recently released a report saying that the lack of nurses, nuclear safety engineers, and airworthiness certifiers are leaving the military in a ‘vulnerable state’.
The report recommends offering financial incentives to retain current staff. Ministers added that although front-line operations are always being protected, the restricting of the armed forces had led to “temporary shortages.”
Based on the Ministry of Defence’s 2012-2013 report, jobs where there is a 40per cent shortfall include anesthetists, emergency nurses, radiologists, intelligence operators, and hydrographic surveyors. Aside from those positions, there are also shortages in the Intelligence Corps, bomb disposal operators, veterinary officers, dog handlers, interrogators, and qualified engineers.
The report added: "The Ministry of Defence should support the services in addressing shortages in pinch point trades - key shortages which leave the armed forces vulnerable now and in the future.”
Meanwhile, Labour has reacted to the report saying that the results were “worrying” and urged Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to consider the report’s recommendations. Shadow defence secretary Vernon Coaker said: "They are vital roles needed to support our armed forces and keep Britain safe and secure.”
On the other hand, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said it was confident that the UK had the "right personnel with the right skill sets to satisfy all strategic defence priorities".
He added: "The armed forces are going through significant restructuring resulting in a small number of temporary shortages in some roles.”
"However, there are safeguards in place to ensure front-line operational capability is not affected."
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