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Armed Forces, Emergency and Security Services

Future Trends

The future

This sector – apart from private security and some prison services – is mainly funded by government money and so is vulnerable to public sector cuts.

The armed forces

  • The army will be reduced from its present size of over 100,000 to 82,000 by 2020. This will mean the smallest British army in more than a century and the closure of a number of RAF bases. It is also likely to mean the end of a number of infantry battalions
  • The government has said it wants to increase substantially the number of fully-trained reserves of all three branches of the armed forces

Emergency Services and Prison Services

  • The government plans to cut police budgets in England and Wales by 20% over four years – it is suggested that there could be a reduction of more than 16,200 officers: an 11% reduction in the overall total of around 140,000
  • The Metropolitan police are expecting to see a reduction in police and support staff from 32,500 to 30,600
  • Other badly hit areas include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Nottinghamshire.
  • The fire and prison services are also facing cuts and changes in many parts of the country, from the likely privatisation of firefigher training in London and the closure of the Fire Brigade Museum, to the closure of two prisons and the possibility that more prisons will be privatised.


Read more about this job sector, including the skills that might be needed in the future, on the National Guidance Research Forum site