London: UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said that the British Army needs to reflect modern British society, and therefore, it needs to recruit from the country`s ethnic minorities.
Addressing a Royal United Service Institute conference, Hammond said: "The British Army needs to reflect British society. This is clearly a challenge now; to recruit from the ethnic minorities within British society in proportions that reflect that society.”
"While we are determined to maintain an effective regimental system, it must be based on the realities of today, and the primacy of capability. That means focusing on analysis of recruitment performance, demographic trends and future recruiting needs," The Telegraph quoted him as saying.
According to the paper, less than seven percent of the Armed Forces are from ethnic minorities, which includes a significant number of personnel from outside the country, meaning the proportion of non-white British citizens is significantly lower, in contrast to the Office for National Statistics, which estimates that around 15 percent of the population is non-white.
Hammond warned the Army that it will have to work much harder to recruit new soldiers in future. To make up for the loss of 20,000 soldiers, ministers have ordered an expansion of the Territorial Army, which is now known as "the Army Reserve". -
The part-time force has been told to have 30,000 personnel ready to deploy by 2020, a figure that regular commanders say is unrealistic.