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Gamer or selfie addict? Your army needs you

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Gamers, class clowns, snow flakes and selfie addicts would previously have been seen as among the last people to consider the army as a career choice.

But as it struggles to recruit enough soldiers, the British Army has launched a campaign with the message that they see these labels differently.

A series of billboards have been produced based on the historic Your Country Needs You posters from the First World War.

They call out to “Me Me Me Millennials”, “Class Clowns”, “Binge Gamers”, “Phone Zombies”, “Snow Flakes”, “Selfie Addicts”, singled out for qualities such as self-belief, spirit, drive, focus, compassion and confidence.



Army recruitment: The gamer




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Your Army needs you: The gamer

Adverts have also been made showing youngsters at home or work with others calling out their stereotypes before the scene changes to show them in the army where their potential is recognised – assisting on humanitarian missions or supporting a hurricane relief effort.

According to the advert, the gamer playing all night has stamina and dedication, “me me me millennials” have confidence and “snowflakes” have compassion.

The campaign aims to appeal to Generation Z youngsters, or those born between 1995 and 2015, a key age for recruitment to the armed forces.



Army recruitment: The clown




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Your Army needs you: The clown

British Army Major General Paul Nanson said the campaign looks beyond stereotypes of young people and recognises their “need for a bigger sense of purpose”.

He said: “The army sees people differently and we are proud to look beyond the stereotypes and spot the potential in young people, from compassion to self-belief.”

Outsourcing firm Capita was given the £495m contract for army recruitment in 2012 but has failed to recruit the number of soldiers needed every year since.

The recruiting shortfall has ranged from 21% to 45% and the online recruitment system was £113m over budget and launched 52 months late.



Army recruitment: The Millennial




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Your Army needs you: The millennial

A report by the National Audit Office in December said that some 47% of applicants chose to drop out of the process during 2017/18, many because it was taking up to 321 days to move between applying and starting basic training.

The commons defence committee was told in October that the Army has 77,000 fully-trained troops. Its target is 82,500.

Talking about the new recruitment campaign, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “It shows that time spent in the Army equips people with skills for life and provides comradeship, adventure and opportunity like no other job does.”

“Now all jobs in the army are open to men and women. The best just got better.”

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