Dutch army needs more young recruits, despite staffing cuts

The Dutch armed forces have been hit by an acute shortage of young recruits, defence minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert told Nos radio on Wednesday.

The current make-up of the armed forces resembles a reverse pyramid, with a large number of older soldiers and few youngsters, the minister said.

The armed forces are currently in the middle of cutting 12,000 jobs, which includes 6,000 compulsory redundancies. Most of these are in the support services.

However, Hennis-Plasshaert told the broadcaster, the number of soldiers leaving is too high and too few youngsters are joining up. The army also has a shortage of technicians.

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