Military Capabilities

UK parliamentary committee calls on MoD to plug skill gaps

12 September 2018

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) should plug skill gaps in the armed forces as the military experiences the largest shortfall of regulars for years, a parliamentary committee has said.

Entitled ‘Skill Shortages in the Armed Forces’, parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on 12 September identifies a shortfall of 8,200 personnel or 5.7% in armed forces, which numbered 137,300 trained regulars in January 2018. It also found skill shortages in 102 “critical trades”, including 23% in pilots, 26% in intelligence analysts, and 17% in engineers.

PAC chair Meg Hillier criticised “the government’s ‘make do and mend’ approach to staffing its defence commitments”, which the report says involves delivering defence operations “by prioritising its commitments and placing additional demands on regulars”.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(145 of 398 words)