Former soldiers offered £10,000 to rejoin Army to reduce shortfall of skilled troops

A Company, 1 R IRISH on patrol around PB Kalang

Defence bosses have agreed to offer up to £10k to veterans who have quit in the past decade if they return to the Army. A move which will save millions of pounds in training costs.

Under a conservative government massive budget cuts have led to the Army losing ­thousands of soldiers, with the official number reduced to 82,000.

But current figures for Army personnel show the service has just 77,440 soldiers on its books.

So now Army commanders are planning to boost ailing recruitment figures by ­offering £10,000 bounties to troops to rejoin.

Britain is short of more than 4,000 soldiers at a time of global and “severe” domestic fears.

Those stepping forward will have to serve a minimum of two years and next year will fill around 175 specific jobs such as signallers. A further 175 returnees will be offered the deal in 2019.

The quick fix saves millions of pounds by not having to put new recruits through training.

A spokesman for the British Army said: “The Army is meeting all of its commitments. This is a routine offer of a ­financial incentive to attract candidates to specific, priority areas.”