‘We need more wars’: Head of controversial private outsourcing firm blames lack of conflict for spectacular collapse in Army recruitment since it took charge



The head of a controversial private outsourcing firm accused of presiding over a collapse in Army recruitment has attempted to blame a lack of war for its failure to sign up new soldiers.

The number of people attending army interviews and selection tests to be regular soldiers has fallen by 35 per cent since Capita took charge of hiring new recruits from the Ministry of Defence in March.

But when asked to explain its failure to maintain manpower levels Capita’s chief executive suggested it was partly down to potential new recruits having too little to do.

“We have the disadvantage that we actually have no wars on,” Paul Pindar told the Public Accounts Committee.

“Soldiers like to join the Army when they actually have something to do.” When MPs expressed surprise at the statement he added: “You can pull faces at me but actually it is something that is factually true.”

Mr Pindar said that recruitment had also been hit by the general improved economic situation in Britain and the failures of a new IT system that his company had been told would be up and running when it took over the contract.

Margaret Hodge, chair of the committee, described his comments on war as “awful”.

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