'Stick or Twist' - Call for Evidence

Following on from his successful 2017 report on Armed Forces Recruitment, Filling the Ranks, the Prime Minister has recommissioned The Rt. Hon. Mark Francois MP and his research team, to produce an independent report on improving Retention within HM Armed Forces.

In their call for evidence, the report team would like to hear from currently serving personnel, those who have recently left the Armed Forces, and their families. The report team also welcome responses from providers of services to those in the Armed Forces and their families in the statutory, voluntary and charity sectors.

The team’s objective as set out by No. 10, is: “To understand how to create an environment that ensures the best retention of Service personnel for as long as Defence need them.” The team are required to provide initial findings to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Defence by the end of July 2019 – with the full report to be submitted by the end of the calendar year.    

The report team are keen to receive evidence on those factors which materially affect retention in the Armed Services. These include, (but are not strictly limited to):

  • The pressure of service life on personnel and their families
  • Frequency of deployment/nights out of bed
  • Remuneration and the “pull factor” of alternative employment opportunities outside of the Armed Forces
  • Career progression - for both service personnel and their spouses/partners
  • Accommodation and home ownership
  • Quality of medical services available to Armed Forces personnel and their families
  • Educational issues, including the provision of special needs education to children

The report team is keen to hear both what is working well and what is not working well and should be improved. Unlike, Filling the Ranks, the conclusions of the report will not necessarily be revenue neutral, but any recommendations must be financially realistic. Submissions and comments should be sent to mark.francois.mp@parliament.uk, by the deadline of 00:00 on the 31st May 2019. Please include ‘Stick or Twist Report’ in the subject line of the email.

The review will seek the first-hand experiences of currently serving, ex-service personnel and their families, with a series of planned visits to units, the first of which will be RAF High Wycombe and RAF Benson on 4th April 2019. All respondents and their respective data will remain anonymous and no one will be personally identified in any report.