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Almost 10,500 apply for 600 Defence Forces positions

Almost 10,500 people applied for 600 jobs available in the Defence Forces and naval service – but what is the recruitment process like? We take a look.

Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

JUST OVER 10,460 people applied for 600 jobs in the Defence Forces and Irish naval service this  month.

A spokesperson for the Defence Forces told that the recruitment drive opened at midnight on 1April, 2012 and ran until midnight on 22 April.

There are 480 places in the Defence Forces and 120 for the naval service. Just shy of 10,460 people applied. Last year we had a similar amount of applicants but that was spaced over the year.

The recruitment process was “more piecemeal” in previous years but this year it was concentrated into one drive. “It’s a lot of people to process but it is somewhat expected that there would be a sharp rise,” said the spokesperson. “It is an interesting job and a good job.”

Those who applied will receive an email outlining what is going to happen next. Those who meet the minimum standard will undergo psychometric testing of their numerical and oral reasoning skills. From this, a bell curve graph will be created, through which the applicants will be marked against each other. This will help to whittle down the number to 2500 applicants, who will then be brought for fitness testing.

Physical testing involves running, push-ups and sit-ups, and applicants will either pass or fail this part. Anyone who passes will be interviewed and from there a shortlist of 600 applicants will be drawn up. “That panel is what we will start recruiting from,” said the spokesperson.

The first platoon will be inducted in September and the final place will be filled by the end of the year.

More information about jobs in the defence forces can be found on the official website

It is not know yet if the Defence Forces will recruit for cadetships this year, which would also include instrumentalists for the army band.

It is not know what the gender breakdown of the applicants was, but currently 6.5 per cent of the entire Defence Forces staff is female. “That rises when you look at the officer ranks, where it is about 15 per cent,” said the spokesperson, who added that all services and positions are open to all genders.

It is believed that the amount of Defence Forces staff is at its lowest level since 1969. It hit a high of 15,000 in the 1980s, but it is a high turnover job and was one of the few public service areas that was downsized in Celtic Tiger times. The Government has set a minimum number of 9,500 staff in the Defence Forces.

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