General Sir Nick Carter
THE head of the army said it must do more to attract ethnic minorities from Britain.
General Sir Nick Carter said the armed forces must “draw talent from all of the society we represent” after figures showed that BME soldiers make up just over ten per cent of personnel, but many are from overseas.
Ministry of Defence figures show that 42 per cent (4,660) of BME troops were from the UK with the remaining 58 per cent (6,300) from commonwealth countries like India and Pakistan.
Sir Nick said his highest priority is ensuring the army have the best talent.
He said: “Our recruitment from the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities has been improving over the years, but it is nowhere near where it needs to be.
“We have to do more.”
He added: “The values and standards we espouse resonate closely with these communities and there is much common ground that we can build on to broaden our recruitment base.”
The army plan to take part in ten events this year to attract ethnic minorities.
Afzal Amin, a former British army officer, told the BBC the armed forces needs people who speak different languages.
He said: “If we are going to deploy in the future into northern Iraq again, or in Syria, we need people that can speak not only to local civilian populations we wish to influence, but also to our partners and our allies.
“Having that proficiency in the language is very important.”