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Covid-19: Armed Forces Professional Development

Volume 688: debated on Monday 1 February 2021

What steps his Department is taking to ensure that armed forces personnel continue their professional development during the covid-19 pandemic. (911609)

The Government remain committed to ensuring that the professional development of our armed forces personnel continues during this difficult time. The safety of our workforce and their families is paramount. Measures including social distancing and, where appropriate, testing regimes have supported the continuation of prioritised face-to-face training. Alongside that, innovative ways of working and use of virtual platforms has enabled remote delivery of other professional development activity, including for those transitioning to civilian life or undertaking professional qualifications.

More and more women are pursuing careers in the armed forces. Will my hon. Friend look at how their personal development can be encouraged by ensuring that the remaining gendered rank titles are updated to reflect the modern make-up of the services?

My hon. Friend makes a very valid point, and this former rifleman rather agrees. The issue of gendered rank titles is something that the chiefs have been considering. Diversity and inclusion leads are working collaboratively across the services to develop an inclusive language guide for release in the spring. That guide is informed by the wider work that NATO has done to produce gender-inclusive language manuals.