Army faces recruitment shortfall

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The Independent Online
British Army numbers have fallen further short of targets in the last six months, in spite of the high-profile "be the best" recruiting campaign, which has accounted for a high proportion of the Army's pounds 17.5m- a-year advertising budget, and the payment of bonuses to persuade trained soldiers to stay.

On 1 April, the Army was 5,000 short of its 117,000 target - 4,000 trained soldiers and 1,000 untrained. On 1 September the total shortfall was 5,350, according to the Armed Forces Minister, Nicholas Soames, yesterday.

Army sources played down the increased shortfall, claiming it was insignificant. Labour's defence spokesman, Dr David Clark, said: "At a time of high unemployment it takes a special kind of genius ... to fail so spectacularly to recruit"