The Defence Minister, Steven Vandeput, wishes to recruit 1,160 individuals next year. This is 260 more than this present year. He wishes to pay “specific attention to recruitment of female staff,” the Ministry of Defence announced yesterday (Thursday).
The Ministry will launch its 2017 campaign during a press conference at the Cruise Terminal in Antwerp. This will occur in the presence of Mr Vandeput, the Minister for Defence (of the New Flemish Alliance), and the frigate Leopold I docked nearby.
The Ministry of Defence will have 1,160 vacancies next year and is fighting for “a more balanced distribution” between men and women.
Women currently represent 8% of the staff base. “For the Ministry of Defence this not good enough. We wish to achieve a better balance,” stated the Army Press Office in a communiqué.
The army anticipated recruiting 900 soldiers in 2016 (made up of 430 volunteers, 340 non-commissioned officers and 130 officers).
This figure is, however, insufficient to bridge the gap in staff numbers. This has affected all four Defence fields (Land, Air, Sea and medical support).
Military chiefs regularly complain about restrictions imposed, for budgetary reasons, upon recruitment, confirming that the arrivals of new recruits, to combat units, in dribs and drabs, is not enough to compensate for those leaving.