22 Nov 2013

UK defence reorganisation plans unveiled

Summary: Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has unveiled details for the reorganisation of the Army, following the collapse of an attempt to delay the Government’s plans to reduce the size of the Army and increase the number of Reservists.

A pioneering project in which the Army helps long-term jobseekers become more employable has begun this week.

Army Reserves employment opportunities

Midlands SPEAR (Supporting People into Employment with the Army Reserve) is a pilot scheme run in partnership with Jobcentre Plus which could be rolled out across the UK if it proves successful.

As well as boosting the skills and confidence of unemployed people aged 18 to 30 in the Stoke-on-Trent area, an intensive four-week course also aims to promote awareness of the Army Reserve, what it has to offer potential employees and employers, and to improve working relationships with other agencies.

Participants will attend Army Reserve units in local areas, learning workplace-recognised skills in a military environment including team-building and motivation, health and safety and workplace first aid. There will also be a work placement and a week spent learning IT skills, interview techniques and CV writing.

Long-term Army reorganisation

The recruitment drive is part of Defence Secretary Philip Hammond’s long-term plans to reorganise the Army by reducing the regular Army by 20,000 by 2020.

The Army Reserve aims to recruit up to 30,000 trained soldiers to provide an integrated and trained Army by 2018.

The government recently defeated an attempt by rebel Conservative MPs to delay moves to reorganise the Army on the grounds that the Reserve recruitment plans were unachievable.