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Building a future-ready armed forces workforce

The evolution of warfighting and the role of the armed forces is constantly influenced by technological, social and economic disruptions. How can the armed forces rethink and redesign their traditional personnel strategies to build a future-ready workforce?

A Future of Warfighting publication by Deloitte Canada

Who the armed forces recruit today and how they develop that talent over time has direct impacts downstream to their workforce of the future. It also means that influencing the workforce composition can take years. To keep up with the changing pace, remain competitive and ensure operational readiness, the armed forces need to revisit their traditional military personnel strategies.

To build a future-ready workforce, the armed forces must plan and develop personnel strategies with a view of future needs. Increased interoperability with other nations, government agencies and industries means the armed forces will need to take into account allied skills and capabilities and develop their workforce to support multilateral efforts as a strategic advantage. They must identify and recruit individuals with requisite skills and enduring capabilities that will enable them to adapt to future conflicts and challenges. Reevaluating other areas, such as— hiring pattern, physical eligibility, diversity, equity and inclusion can result in a broader talent pool and help create and sustain the armed forces workforce needed for the future.

In addition to recruitment, improving learning & development and career management opportunities is another critical lever to build workforces of the future. This paper outlines how the armed forces can rethink their workforce planning and personnel strategies to build the workforce, skills and culture to be future-ready.

About the Future of Warfighting

The Deloitte Center for Government Insights is undertaking a yearlong research project focussed on helping defence organisations prepare for the next 15 years of defence challenges. While defence challenges are ever shifting, our research has identified interoperability—within the armed forces, within government, between nations and with industry—as being key to meeting uncertain threats.

Through more than 60 experts representing 12 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia, this research will produce more than a dozen insights articles offering ways of improving interoperability across key military areas. Research will detail how specific defence organisations can improve interoperability across defence challenges based on country-level expertise. The four leading defence challenges assessed from strategy documents of the 12 countries include near-peer warfare, grey zone threats particularly from technology, limited scale warfare and defending the rules-based international order. The goal is to not only promote discussion at the international and intra-national levels, but demonstrate, in part, how greater interoperability can occur.

Visit to access the Future of Warfighting insights collection and the interactive Interoperability index.

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