Foreign nationals will be allowed to join the British army despite never having lived in the country, ministers will reveal as part of plans to help stem a worsening recruitment crisis in the armed forces.
An extra 1,350 personnel from overseas are hoped to be enlisted to the Navy, Army and Air Force every year.
Rules requiring Commonwealth citizens to have lived in the United Kingdom for five years before applying for service were previously lifted in 2016 for some specialist roles including metalsmiths and medical technicians, with the number capped at 200 annually across the Army, Royal Navy, and RAF.
From an annual requirement of about 10,000 recruits, the army has only had about...
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The development comes after a series of damning reports over the years which expose the chronic personnel shortages faced by Britain's armed forces across the spectrum, including in the army, as well as the naval and air forces.
The government allows 200 Commonwealth citizens who have not lived in Britain for five years to apply, a rule introduced in 2016.
This would open up opportunities to interested people based in countries like Bangladesh, India, Australia, Canada and Kenya, according to the statement.
Mr Francois produced a report previous year warning that the British military was "hollowing out" as a result of problems with recruitment, which recommended the armed forces do more to attract ethnic minorities and women.
The public spending watchdog is carrying out a review of army recruitment, including the contract with outsource firm Capita.
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An extra 8,2000 regulars and 2,400 engineers were needed to fill the "largest gap in a decade", the report added, while intelligence analysts and pilots were also in demand.
And a Conservative MP's report in July 2017 on the state of Army recruitment warned that the Armed Forces were "hollowing out" due to recruitment issues.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan said at the time that the campaign, "reflects the fact that the army, like the rest of government, is being forced down a route of political correctness".
He cited recent evidence given to the committee that the Army would be "lucky" to reach 50 per cent of its recruitment figures this year. "It's of secondary importance that they reflect the composition of society", he added. It said the air force iswas undertaking more missions than it had for a quarter of a century.
It meant to encourage more people from different backgrounds, genders, sexualities and faiths to join up.
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