Written answers

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Department of Defence

Defence Forces Recruitment

9:00 pm

Photo of David StantonDavid Stanton (Cork East, Fine Gael)
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Question 101: To ask the Minister for Defence if he will report on the most recent recruitment campaign of the Defence Forces; when this took place; the number of personnel enlisted as a result in each of the services; the number who are still enlisted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25994/08]

Photo of Peter KellyPeter Kelly (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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Question 135: To ask the Minister for Defence the number of people applying to join the Defence Forces and the number of vacancies in each of the years 2006, 2007 and to date in 2008; if he is satisfied with the calibre of applicants; if he expects that the Defence Forces will be able to continue recruiting in future years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25538/08]

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Minister, Department of Defence; Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 101 and 135 together.

Entry to the Permanent Defence Force is either through the Cadetship Competition, General Service Enlistment, Apprenticeship Competition or Direct Entry Competitions which are held to fill vacancies in specialist appointments.

Cadet Competition

The number of applications received for the Cadetship Competition in 2006, 2007 and 2008 was 1,085, 1,231 and 1,183 respectively. 55 Cadets were enlisted in 2006 and 48 were enlisted from the 2007 Cadetship Competition. The number of cadets to be recruited in 2008 is currently under consideration and is expected to be in the region of 45.

General Service Enlistment

The number of applications received for General Service Enlistment to the Permanent Defence Force in 2006, 2007 and to date in 2008 was 2,495, 3,958 and 1,540 respectively. 559 general service recruits enlisted in the Permanent Defence Force in 2006 and 565 in 2007. 192 recruits have been enlisted to date in 2008.

Apprenticeships Competitions

The most recent recruitment campaign was the Apprenticeship Competition for Aircraft Mechanic, Heavy Vehicle Mechanic and Fitter Armourer Apprentices. The competition was launched on 29 February 2008. A total of 612 applications were received from which the military authorities propose to offer in the region of 30 apprenticeships. The recruitment selection process is ongoing. All qualified applicants have completed the assessment phase, which includes fitness and psychometric testing. The successful candidates will be inducted in September 2008.

There were 427 applications for the Apprenticeships Competitions held in 2006 and a total of 30 Apprentices were enlisted. In 2007 there were 454 applications and a total of 28 Apprentices were enlisted.

Direct Entry Competitions

Direct Entry Competitions were held in 2006 from which 2 Doctors were appointed to the Medical Corps, 2 Engineers were appointed to the Corps of Engineers and 2 Instrumentalists were appointed to the Army School of Music. A total of 128 applications were received for these competitions.

In 2007, a total of 58 applications were received for all Direct Entry Competitions. As a result 2 Doctors, 1 Psychologist and 1 Dentist have been appointed to the Medical Corps along with 4 Instrumentalists to the Army School of Music and 2 Aeronautical Engineers (who were commissioned in 2008) to the Air Corps. To date in 2008, 2 Doctors have been appointed to the Medical Corps and 1 Instrumentalist has been appointed to the Army School of Music. In addition 1 Doctor and 2 Aeronautical Engineer Officers will be commissioned in the near future.

The number of applications received for positions in the Permanent Defence Force usually far exceeds the number of positions available in any year. In general terms, the Defence Forces are attracting more than a sufficient number of suitable candidates of the standard and calibre required for the filling of the general body of vacancies on offer.

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