Thursday, 9 February 2012

NAO report Managing change in the Defence workforce impact on skills

National Audit Office report Managing change in the Defence workforce published today points out the Minsitry of Defence is under pressure to make rapid financial savings, is significantly reducing the size of its workforce, by over 54,000 personnel. A report today by the National Audit Office has found that these reductions are happening in advance of the Department’s fully understanding how it will operate with significantly fewer staff.

With regard to skills the report says 

The significant reduction in headcount creates a risk that current skills gaps will worsen. There is a significant risk that current skills shortages will worsen particularly as at least 16,000 personnel, 30 per cent of the reduction required, is predicted to occur through natural wastage, a process over which the Department has less control than redundancy.”

The recent statement by SEPA on the plans submitted by MOD for the remediation of the beach at Dalgety Bay may indicate that MOD has inadequate specialist skills to manage issues such as radioactive contamination.

"We consider that the plan, as it stands, lacks sufficient detail and have requested more information on a number of areas which include:

  • timescales for implementation of each stage of the plan;
  • more detail relating to the proposed investigation work;
  • investigation plans for Crowhill and Ross Plantation;
  • investigation of remediation options."

It has been previously pointed out that there are significant nuclear safety skills shortages. It will be interesting to see in this year’s report by the Defence Nuclear Environment Safety Board if the situation has changed

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