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Armed Forces: Recruitment

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to monitor the implementation of the recruitment policy of the armed forces in respect of (a) people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and (b) children of low-income households. (291875)

The armed forces aim to recruit the very best from all sectors of society regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender or financial standing. All three services have extensive programmes and dedicated teams to raise awareness of the armed forces in ethnic minority (EM) communities and to encourage recruitment. In partnership with the Equality and Human Rights Commission, we have set a target of 8 per cent EM representation by 2013. Our progress towards this target is continually monitored and published quarterly and can be found on the following website:

As at 1 July 2009, EM representation stood at 6.6 per cent.

There are no recruitment policies or targets set for the number of military personnel from low income households and such information is consequently not monitored.