Army's careers office in Grimsby to soldier on despite cutbacks elsewhere
GRIMSBY'S Army Recruitment Office will continue serving the area, despite a review leading to cutbacks.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said recruitment offices are due to be taken over by private firm Capita next year.
The future of the Grimsby office, in Freeman Street, has been secured, but a question mark hangs over offices in Scunthorpe and Boston.
The Lincoln office, which serves all the armed forces, is also due to continue in service.
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The MoD spokesman said: "The Army will always need to recruit large numbers of high-quality young men and women so that it can continue to meet the operational challenges of the future.
"Over the next year we are changing the way in which we recruit by harnessing the expertise of a civilian firm to help us attract the people we need.
"This means there will be some changes, including a smaller number of high street offices, as we make better use of the power of the internet to process applications.
"We will maintain both our high street presence and mobile recruitment capability and the vast majority of young people will still be able to speak with uniformed personnel or reach an office within 90 minutes."
The survival of the Grimsby office, which has been established for 30 years, was welcomed by the leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, Councillor Chris Shaw, pictured below.
He served with the 13th and 18th Royal Hussars as a cavalryman. His regiment has since merged with the Light Dragoons.
Having served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, Canada and Germany, Councillor Shaw said: "I am very pleased the Army Recruitment Office in Freeman Street is staying.
"It shows North East Lincolnshire's links with the Forces is strong, and reinforces the council's pledge of signing the Forces Covenant.
"I hope the servicemen there continue to give their experience to potential recruits. They have given service at the office for quite a while."
Guardsman Sergeant Tony Saxton, 29, said there were currently 200 potential recruits going through the process at Grimsby.
There are about a dozen enquiries made at the office each day – matching Lincoln's office, which serves all three forces.
"We get people who are employed in North East Lincolnshire and throughout Lincolnshire seeking a more secure future, as well as the unemployed," he said.
"It is a good career with a good pension. It is a job for life.
"Between 60 and 70 per cent come in looking for a better life."
All recruits are matched to one of the many careers in the Army, but must have a body mass index of lower than 28.
They must be under 33 years old for the Army and under 42 for the Territorial Army.
The office also recruits a number of service women, who are drawn from nursing and administration jobs.
Sergeant Saxton explained: "There is no use having someone who is 6ft 1in tall applying for a job driving tanks. They won't fit."
A 28-year-old volunteer, who works for North East Lincolnshire Council and did not wish to be named, said: "It is a better chance and better career prospects.
"It is good to have the office in Grimsby because some of the initial visits can be just for a few minutes so you would not want to travel too far just for a couple of minutes."