Armed Forces boosted by slight increase in number of trained personnel

The number of fully trained operational personnel in the British Armed Forces has begun to edge upwards after a dip in the middle of 2007.

The Ministry of Defence’s latest figures revealed that it is currently operating at 96.9% of its full-time trained strength requirement, 0.1% higher than June 2007, but still down from 97.1% in January last year.

On 1 January 2008, there were 174,910 fully trained personnel – 5,520 short of the 180,430 target.

Defence minister Bob Ainsworth said: “We continually monitor the Armed Forces manpower situation so we can look at trends and take action where necessary.

“This latest report shows that an encouraging number of people are completing their training. And although the number of people leaving has risen, so has recruitment, and we are taking action to retain our highly valued and skilled people.

“Recent initiatives include pay rises, improvements in accommodation, increased operational allowances, and welfare measures such as the introduction of council tax rebates and childcare vouchers,” Ainsworth said.

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