Armed forces minister Mark Lancaster said the Ministry of Defence was working hard to address the manpower shortfall.
It comes amid claims the nation was struggling to meet its 82,000-strong manpower target in the army and was still facing manpower woes across the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
Speaking in parliament, Mr Lancaster said there was ‘an awful lot going on at the moment’. He added: ‘It would be wrong to say that there have not been challenges in implementing the defence recruiting system.
‘There is also a change in demographics in the UK. That is why we are working so hard to widen our recruiting base and have set targets to recruit from both the BAME – black, Asian and minority ethnic – and female populations.’
He added there had been an upsurge in the numbers joining the army in the past year of some 2.6 per cent.