Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Defence
201. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the establishment strength for Air Corps technicians; the number of apprentices recruited in 2019 and to date in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29809/20]
I am informed by the military authorities that the establishment for Air Corps technicians is 322 personnel with a current strength (Wholetime Equivalent) of 176 personnel (as at 7th October 2020). The current gap in strength versus establishment has developed over a period of time.
Eight apprentice technicians were recruited in 2019 and 19 in 2020. A total of 62 apprentices are in training with all due to complete by 2024. A further apprentice competition will be held in Q1 2021 with intake planned for September 2021.
The contracting out of certain maintenance tasks coupled with the in-house services delivered by the personnel of the Air Corps combine to ensure that Air Corps aircraft are appropriately maintained.
Further options to develop technician capacity in the Air Corps are under consideration.