A pilot scheme introduced by the Army in Scotland to
outsource its recruitment to a private sector agency has increased the quantity
and the quality of recruits and could be rolled out across the UK.
The Army engaged the Search Consultancy in a trial covering
the west coast of Scotland in a bid to improve recruitment numbers which have
been falling steadily for the past decade.
The project, which started in April last year, is on
schedule to meet its target of recruiting 2,000 new soldiers.
A team of 10 soldiers and 10 Search consultants have
achieved a 20 per cent increase in enlistments over the past 11 months and the
proportion of applicants passing the Army Recruit Selection Centres has risen
over the same period to 64 per cent from 51 per cent for the previous year.
‘Enlistees’ passing the initial training programme have also
gone up to 84 per cent from 70 per cent the year before, and the Search team
has converted 44 per cent of applicants to recruits starting basic training,
compared with the UK average of 28 per cent.
Project director for the Army Brigadier Ian McLaughlan said
it is deciding whether to expand the pilot to cover all areas of Scotland and
the rest of the UK.