The job losses are part of the cuts already announced by the Government as it reduces Army numbers from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2017, helping fill a hole of £38 billion in the UK’s defence budget.
The Strategic Defence and Security Review said in 2010 that around 17,000 jobs would be scrapped. The navy and air force have to cut 5,000 jobs each, the Army 7,000 and about 25,000 civilian office staff at the MoD face job losses.
The Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force are not expected to be included in today’s redundancies. The MoD says that soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan, about to deploy to Afghanistan or currently recovering from a recent tour of duty will be exempt from the cuts.
In the last round of redundancies, about 72% of personnel took voluntary redundancy. This time, there could be a higher proportion of compulsory redundancies. Reservist numbers are to be doubled to 30,000 to help fill the gap.
Harry Dean, CEO of British Forces Resettlement Services (BFRS) and ex-Army officer told HR magazine: “The Government are not taking the needs of service leaders into account. It is a difficult time for anyone to get a job.”
“These job cuts are not unexpected, but there will be more compulsory redundancies than voluntary ones. The impact of that can be hard, especially on service leaders who feel they have given a lot to their country.”
He added: “However, ex-personnel are adaptable individuals and have the skills to make an effective transition, if they get the support they need. Lots of organisations out there recognise the value, adaptability and skills that service leaders bring.”
A full statement will be made by the MoD later today.