Royal Air Force (RAF) recruiters have allegedly been ordered to hire ethnic minorities and women over white males in an effort to meet government-backed diversity targets, leaks have reportedly revealed.
In an effort to meet race and gender diversity quotas set by the so-called Conservative Party government, recruiters within Britain’s Royal Air Force have been ordered to hire women and “BAME” (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) candidates over white men, a report published on Saturday has claimed.
Insiders within the air force had already claimed that an “effective pause” on the hiring of white men had been implemented, according to reports, with diversity targets being cited as having a negative impact on the air force’s operational capabilities.
Such claims have now been given even further backing, with a Sky News report claiming that documents leaked to the broadcaster appear to back up the charges.
According to the news organisation, one document explicitly stated that the “Recruitment Force continues to prioritise female candidates” for what is described as “customer relationship management”.
Another document said that recruiters were prioritising ethnic minorities, saying the “[t]he Recruitment Force continues to prioritise BAME candidates from the VA for CRM, whilst Rec Ops [recruitment operations] prioritises its loading onto BRTC [basic training course,” according to Sky.
Meanwhile, an internal email seen by Sky News reportedly showed the organisation ditching suitability interviews for proposed candidates — a move at least one insider has claimed was to decrease the number of women and ethnic minority candidates filtered out by the process.
“The pressure and direction from senior leaders were that all female and ethnic minority candidates are to be given priority treatment in the processing of their application,” another insider reportedly told the broadcaster.
“No consideration was to be given to their performance, so long as they have achieved the minimum standard, they were prioritised for movement forward, essentially meaning white males were left behind in the process or offered dates for their next test that were after their prioritised peers,” they continued.
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While overt discrimination within hiring processes is ostensibly illegal in Boris Johnson’s Britain, the ruling Conservative Party have done nothing to rescind legal discrimination for the sake of making a workplace more diverse under so-called “positive action” rules.
It is under this clause that the RAF appears to be operating under, with one insider describing the discrimination as being seen by management as “positive action” due to the org supposedly “not refusing the non-prioritised applicants the ability to move through the system, or refuse them the opportunity of employment based on their protected characteristic”.
Such “positive action” has also been repeatedly encouraged by those within the so-called Conservative Party, with the country’s Armed Forces Minister, James Heappey, openly backing the push to hire more women and ethnic minorities so long as the RAF is doing so in a legal way.
“We have asked for the Armed Forces to improve their diversity, but we will not accept courses beginning anything other than full, and we won’t accept any lowering of standards, and we won’t accept any operational impact,” Heappey claimed, seemingly in an attempt to sound outraged at the notion of the RAF’s hiring process being debased — but actually backing it.
“[W]e’re content for the chief of the air staff and his team to look at what they could legally do in terms of positive action, providing that the conditions the Secretary of State [for Defence] and I have set are met,” he went on to say.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that — due to the huge amount of people leaving the force — the RAF is struggling to train new pilots to fly its supersonic jets.
Being allegedly described by one serving officer as the “biggest f*** up in the RAF”, such problems could hamper the ability of the organisation to field aircraft in the event of an armed conflict.
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