Critical military trades need extra recruits, report says

From left, ETME Michael Folliard and 1ST LT, Lt Cdr Jim Lupini. Picture: PO Phot Nicola Harper

HMS Sultan engineer raises £650 for charity

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CHALLENGES across key ‘pinch-points’ in military trades won’t be solved for at least five years, a report has warned.

Today’s study by the National Audit Office said there were 102 key trades where the MoD had ‘insufficient’ numbers of skilled personnel to maintain defence tasks without placing extra strain on regulars.

Commander Sarah Shaughnessy

Commander Sarah Shaughnessy

Most of these ‘pinch-points’ were focused on six trades: engineering, intelligence, logistics, pilots, communications and medical.

The worst-hit was engineering, with 32 areas highlighted creating a shortfall of 2,400 engineers, 17 per cent below requirement – the largest shortfall was for weapons engineers in the navy.

Now the Royal Navy’s most senior female engineering officer, Commander Sarah Shaughnessy, has spoken out in bid to recruit future navy engineers.

Cdr Shaughnessy already plays a leading role in the navy’s STEM ambassador scheme in schools and said the sky was the limit for those willing to work.

Commander Sarah Shaughnessy

Commander Sarah Shaughnessy

She said her role in the Senior Service had been fantastic, adding: ‘I have served nearly 25 years as a marine engineer officer, I have been a charge engineer twice – once in a patrol vessel once in a frigate, worked as a trials officer in the machinery training and assessment unit, I’ve been second-in-command of HMS Sultan the Royal Navy’s biggest technical training base and am now career manager for engineering officer.’

The situation comes amid the year of engineering – a year-long drive designed to inspire young people to take on more STEM-based jobs.

Those eager to find out more about a life as an engineer in the Royal Navy can visit: royalnavy.mod.uk/careers