Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Public Accounts Committee

Appropriation Accounts 2022
Vote 20 - An Garda Síochána

9:30 am

Mr. Drew Harris:

Prior to Covid we regularly had classes coming into training at 200 a time. After Covid, even with our best efforts in terms of recruitment, we found it difficult to push to those numbers. Tomorrow's class, which will graduate, is in and around 165. There is a very competitive marketplace but we also have look to the terms and conditions within the organisation. Last year, I proposed an increase to the student allowance. That happened and was implemented with the budget, for instance. We have to be sure that we are seen to be an attractive employer. We have a retention and recruitment strategy which involves the associations. We have done a huge outreach programme for the past two recruitment competitions as well. I would be in a far better position in terms of all the demands that are placed upon the organisation if I had 15,000 gardaí. We want to get there but the issue is getting people into the organisation and keeping them.


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