UK & World News
Armed Forces Launch New Recruitment Drive
The British Armed Forces have launched a new recruitment campaign in an attempt to reverse the dwindling number of new entrants, particularly to the Army Reserve.
Television, radio, cinema and print adverts will be broadcast and published nationally.
Titled 'More Than Meets The Eye', the ads aim to demonstrate the wide range of roles available in the military after a survey carried out by the Ministry of Defence revealed that nearly one in four Britons were unhappy with their current career.
The research, carried out by OnePoll on behalf of the army, also found that many people were unaware of the diversity of jobs on offer.
Of the 2,000 people polled, 28% thought Army Reserves would not get paid, while 40% did not think a commitment to the reserves was flexible, and 40% also thought signing up to the army was a lifetime commitment.
The campaign hopes to capitalise on New Year's resolutions which see people wanting to transform their lives and careers.
Commenting on it, Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Peter Wall, said: "The Army offers people unique opportunities for challenge and adventure, both at home and overseas, during peacetime and on operations.
"It develops personal qualities that are key to success in any walk of life: leadership, judgement, determination, and physical stamina."
A new simplified online application form, a more streamlined medical clearance process, and an Army fitness app, will all also be launched this month.
The campaign is just the latest attempt by the military to boost recruitment numbers and there is much riding on it.
The Ministry of Defence's last Quarterly Personnel Report showed that the number of Reservists decreased between July and September 2013.
By the end of that period there were 1,630 fewer Reservists than at the beginning.
The total strength of the Reserve Force, which includes the Maritime Reserve and Royal Auxiliary Air Force is 21,870, of which the Army Reserve makes up 19,090.
The MoD has committed to increasing the size of the Army Reserve to 35,000 by 2015 - despite recent poor figures, senior officials are adamant they will achieve that target.
A total of £1.8bn has been committed over 10 years to supplement training and equipment for reserve soldiers in order that they receive the same level of kit as their regular counterparts.
A fourth tranche of redundancies will be announced later this month.
Around 5,000 people will be affected, almost exclusively in the Army.
Although running a recruitment campaign alongside a redundancy scheme might seem illogical, the MoD explains that it must always maintain a constant flow of younger, junior recruits to train for the future.
:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.