Why aren't more people lining up to fight with a mouse, keyboard and gun?

Parliament’s influential Public Accounts (PAC) Committee reckons UK Armed Forces need to recruit more digitally able folk to halt a widening skills gap, warning the military does not have a "coherent plan" to do so.

With an existing 26 per cent shortfall in the target number of full-time intelligence analysts in the ranks of the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force, the PAC said "a challenging external environment, including national skill shortages in areas such as engineering, means that the Department faces strong competition from other government bodies and the private sector to recruit specialist skills".

Issued today, the PAC's report, titled “Skill shortages in the Armed Forces”, paints a bleak picture of life in the military, warning that as well as shortages of personnel in 102 trades across the three armed forces, annual turnover of personnel approached 15 per cent in five key trades.

Though the Ministry of Defence was said to “understand the main reasons why people leave the armed forces”, it does not “understand fully whether there are specific issues in those trades with more significant shortfalls” of people.

Just 50 people have, so far, been recruited laterally into higher-ranked posts.

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