More than 10,000 civil service jobs at the Ministry of Defence could go over the next five years as a result of the government's Strategic Defence and Security Review, according to a number of reports.
Ahead of David Cameron's SDSR statement to parliament this afternoon, both the BBC and the International Business Times reported that up to 20% of the department's civilian workforce could bear the brunt of the government's decision to focus resources on counter-terrorism and defence equipment. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence declined to comment ahead of the prime minister's statement.
According to the latest civil service workforce statistics, the MoD employed 48,110 full time staff as of March 2015. CSW understands that Cameron's Commons announcement at 3:30pm will not include a specific figure for job losses. The BBC put the number of jobs set to go at 12,000, while the IBTimes said "more than 10,000" would be shed over the next five years.
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Responding to the reported job losses, Dave Penman of the FDA union stressed the role that MoD officials play in support of frontline service personnel.
"You cannot increase the military capability of the UK without [...] increasing the number of civilian staff that support the armed forces personnel on deployment," he told the World at One.
The FDA general secretary added: "We have seen this time and time again – it's very easy for chancellors or ministers to look for cuts from the civilian staff. It is more politically difficult to look for cuts from the military staff. And we end up with this mismatch between the resources that are available to support our armed forces and the number of armed forces themselves."
UPDATE: The MoD has announced plans for a 30% reduction in civilian staff – full story here