MoD digs in over its attitude to disability

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has defended itself against allegations that
it is one of the worst departments in central government for employing staff
with disabilities.

Government figures revealed by Personnel Today in January showed that the
MoD had not registered a single disabled member of staff among more than 93,000
civilian staff.

This compared with 3.6 per cent of junior civil servants and 1.7 per cent of
senior staff in other departments.

However, the MoD claims that the statistics included on the civil service
website are unreliable due to MoD staff not reporting disabilities when they

The department says it aims to have 6 per cent of junior staff with a
disability and 2 per cent of senior staff by 2005.

Pam Unwinn, assistant director of diversity at the MoD, told Personnel Today
that disabled people were actively encouraged to apply for MoD posts under the
Government’s ‘Positive about Disability’ scheme.

The programme offers a guaranteed interview to anyone with the required
competencies who declares a disability in their application.

Unwinn said the MoD encouraged self-development through dedicated training,
special bursaries, disability networks and targeted publicity.

Military and CMI in joint operation

The British Army is to offer soldiers
command, leadership and management training courses that will be recognised by
civilian employers.

Up to 7,500 personnel a year will benefit under a new
partnership with the Chartered Management Institute.

Soldiers will be able to undertake more than 30 different areas
of training – from team leadership and organisation to operational management
and change leadership.

Courses range from introductory awards, to degree-level
diplomas and will be verified externally to ensure they are recognised outside
the military when personnel leave.

Major Jacqui Davidson of the Army’s Directorate of Educational
and Training Services, said: "If we want our soldiers to ‘be the best’
they should have access to courses that enhance their professional and personal

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