Britain’s Gurkha soldiers to lose jobs

January 17th, 2012 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 17 (IANS) One in eight Gurkha soldiers in Britain will lose their job under a plan to make 4,000 members of the armed forces redundant, the Telegraph reported Tuesday.

More than 400 Gurkhas will be among 2,800 soldiers to lose their army jobs, while the Royal Air Force (RAF) is cutting 1,000 and the Navy 500.

The defence ministry has sent over 14,000 notices to personnel in each of the three services offering them voluntary redundancy but it is expected some compulsory redundancies will have to be made, the newspaper said.

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan are among those to receive the notices, although they will be protected from compulsory redundancy.

The 3,400-member brigade of Gurkhas has been more vulnerable to redundancies after their terms of service changed four years ago, allowing them to serve for 22 years rather than the previous 15 years.

Nearly all Gurkhas chose to extend their contracts, which increased the number in the brigade. The defence ministry said the changes made it more expensive to employ them, making them more vulnerable to cost-cutting redundancies.

RAF and Royal Navy commanders hope that this will be the final round of redundancies but the army is likely to announce at least one more tranche of job losses.

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