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Armed Forces: Women

Volume 704: debated on Wednesday 22 October 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many technical trades are open to women in (a) the Royal Navy, (b) the Army, and (c) the Royal Air Force; and how many women serve in technical trades in each service in absolute and proportionate terms. [HL5457]

In the Royal Navy, with the exception of submarine and Royal Marine trades, all technical trades are open to females. There are currently 10,780 female sailors employed in 14 technical trades. This equates to 12.8 per cent of the officer corps and 17.6 per cent of other ranks. All technical trades include sea appointments.

In the Army, all technical trades (51) are open to female soldiers. As the Army was the last service to transition to JPA the full extent of trade fields has not yet been validated and the data are not of sufficient quality to release publicly. However, there are currently 5,240 (72 per cent) female soldiers who are employed in arms and services that have a high percentage of technical trades within them. I will write to the noble Lord when this information has been validated on JPA.

All 36 technical trades in the Royal Air Force are open to female personnel. Of the 5,110 female personnel, 860 (17 per cent) are employed in technical trades.