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A new dawn

Surge in women joining Defence Forces after €360,000 is spent on recruitment campaigns

Almost 14,000 men and women applied to join the Defence Forces in 2017.

defence Screengrab / DFMagazine/YouTube Screengrab / DFMagazine/YouTube / DFMagazine/YouTube

THE DEFENCE FORCES spent €180,000 on videos, photos and gifs for its 2017 recruitment campaign that led to a surge in women joining the organisation.

In total last year, the Defence Forces spent €360,000 on its 2017 recruitment campaigns that resulted in 13,854 men and women applying to join.

The €360,000 spent on the two recruitment campaigns last year was made up of the €180,000 on content creation, €130,000 on advertising, events and merchandising, and €50,000 spent on communications research and training.

The campaigns had a strong digital and social media dimension, with a special focus on seeking to attract ‘sporty’ women.

This resulted in 1,585 women – or 11.5% of applicants – seeking to join. The focus on recruiting more women is part of the government’s plan to double female participation in the Army from its current 6%.

DFMagazine / YouTube

The figures show that female applicants make up just under 10% of new inductees, with recruitment from 2017 continuing from panels already in place.

Of the 751 personnel inducted last year, which represents a historic high, 72 were women.

Speaking about the total 13,854 applications received, a spokeswoman for the Defence Forces today said: “The level of applicants met and exceeded the Defence Forces applicant targets for 2017.”

The spokeswoman said the €180,000 spent on content creation “included an interactive video, a 90-second video and gifs”, many of which “will be used during future recruitment competitions”.

a new dawn

As part of the fresh approach, the Defence Forces became the first military organisation in the world to create a first-person interactive video, A New Dawn, in its recruitment campaign.

Speaking about the overall numbers seeking to join, the spokeswoman said: “The number of applicants eager to join the Defence Forces is a reflection of the wide variety of roles that are on offer within the organisation as well as the opportunities available to those who join, from third level education to representing Ireland in the service of peace.”

Over 9,000 members

At the end of last year, the strength of the Defence Forces totalled 9,173.

The spokeswoman said, of the 524 women applying for cadetships, 20 were successful. Of the 1,032 women applying for general service recruitment last year, 52 women have been inducted so far. Induction from these competitions are still ongoing.

The spokeswoman said, of the 29 women who applied for Air Corps apprenticeships, none have been inducted.

Depending on which route a person uses to join the Defence Forces they will undergo specific training, for example: an Army cadetship is 15 months, a Navy cadetship is 20 months and an Air Corps cadetship is a minimum of 30 months.

A breakdown of the inductees shows that 615 women were recruited into general service, made up of 553 in the Army and 62 in Navy. An additional two were recruited into military medicine, 22 as Air Corps apprentices, 11 direct entry naval officers and 101 cadets made up of 74 in the Army, 17 in the Navy and 10 in the Air Corps.

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