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Tuesday, 23 January, 2001, 17:39 GMT
Army enlists recruitment firm
Soldier on duty
Soldier numbers in some areas are falling in Scotland
Army bosses in Scotland are hoping a Glasgow-based recruitment firm has what it takes to sign up 2,000 new soldiers.

It will be the first time any part of the British Army has used a private company to assist recruitment.

According to the army in Scotland, some 1,500 new soldiers are needed each year to maintain current staffing levels.

But officials have admitted that within the country's personnel divisions there is a shortage, particularly in the six infantry battalions, whose numbers are currently about 350 short.

soldiers working
Army training provides skills, says army bosses
They are now hopeful that with the help of Search they will increase the proportion of Scots in the British Army, which currently stands at 13%.

The aim of the campaign is to convince would-be recruits that army training has great relevance to civilian careers.

It also wants to "reinforce its position as a modern career alternative to industry or higher education".

From April, Search will work with the army's own recruitment staff, offering specialist advice on the technical, manufacturing, construction and engineering sectors.

Recruitment problem

Armed Forces Minister John Spellar said: "This is a bold new initiative which shows the army has its finger on the pulse when it comes to modern recruiting methods.

"I am optimistic that the army's partnership with Search, a highly reputable recruitment organisation, will enhance army recruitment across the board."

A spokeswoman for the army in Scotland said: "Scotland has been chosen for the pilot as it has a natural boundary and also because we do have a recruitment problem that's quite defined, mainly in the infantry."

"This will be a joint effort. Search knows how to target audiences and its job is to get the right type of people up to the door. The selection process will be up to the army."

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