Navy targets gamers in submariner recruitment drive

Written by Sam Trendall on 18 October 2019 in News
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Campaign to recruit 250 sailors launched at video games expo in London

Credit: TimWijers/CC BY-SA 4.0  -  Image has been cropped

In a bid to recruit 250 new submariners, the Royal Navy is targeting gamers, many of whom it believes “already possess the core skills needed” to serve in the armed forces.

The Navy is this week attending EGX, which claims to be “the UK’s biggest games event” and is taking place through the weekend at London’s ExCeL venue. Heading up the recruitment exercise is public sector transformation specialist Shared Services Connected Limited – a joint venture of IT consultancy Sopra Steria and the Cabinet Office.

SSCL is offering attendees of EGX the chance to use virtual reality technology that recreates life aboard a submarine. Serving submariners will also be at the event to talk to gamers about their experiences.


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The bid to attract gaming enthusiasts is in support of a plan to recruit an additional 250 submariners by the end of next year.

Captain Pete Viney, director of recruiting for the Royal Navy, said: “The submarine service is a unique, challenging, yet hugely rewarding place to work. Submariners are part of an elite team within UK defence, working with highly-sophisticated technology and taking on some of the most demanding tasks in the Royal Navy.” 

He added: “The mental demands of round-the-clock watching and listening – whilst remaining undetected – can be intense and requires resilience and skill. Many of those with a natural affinity for video games already possess the core skills needed for a successful and rewarding career as a Royal Navy submariner.” 

EGX attracts in excess of 75,000 attendees each year and offers gamers the chance to play hundreds of games prior to their release. It also hosts a range of panel discussions and a careers fair.

David Parsons, director of resourcing services at SSCL, said: “By using VR and the real-life experiences of serving personnel to provide a glimpse into the world of a submariner and a Royal Navy career, we hope to appeal to many of those who are active in the gaming community.”

He added: “The intense concentration and attention to detail that is needed for life on a Royal Navy submarine are skills that gamers already have. In many cases they have the ability to cut through the noise, seeing and hearing things that many others would easily miss. A Royal Navy career may just be a perfect match.”

This recruitment initiative comes shortly after Defence Science and Technology Laboratory – the government’s military research unit – awarded a £1.5m contract to Slitherine, a Surrey-based games developer. The company's software will be used in military strategy and training exercises.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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