The Defence Forces are planning to recruit 1,450 personnel in the next two years, and keen to sign-up more women and people from ethnic minorities.
The recruitment drive for enlisted personnel was announced by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney.
He said it was hoped to recruit 600 personnel this year and a further 850 in 2017.
In total, 200 places will be earmarked for the Naval Service and 1,250 to the Army. A separate recruitment drive will take place later this year for apprenticeships in the Air Corps.
The Defence Forces has prepared a special recruitment video which will be shown at cinemas nationwide and will be hold promotional day in barracks around the country, aimed specifically at women interested in joining up.
At present, women make up 6% of Defence Forces numbers but, under the terms of the recently launched White Paper on Defence, it is hoped to double the figure to 12% by 2021.
The final date for receiving recruit applications is May 22. Around two weeks later, women who have applied will be invited to their local barracks for an information session which will include a workshop on fitness requirements.
Serving women members will offer first hand experiences of their role in the Defence Forces.
This year’s campaign will specifically target increased female recruitment using social media channels, digital advertisements and the introduction information programmes for women.
A spokesman said the Defence Forces were also pressing to recruit more people from ethnic minorities, to reflect the diverse population of today’s Ireland and to provide additional languages which will come in very useful when troops are involved in multi-national overseas missions.
To qualify, a potential recruit requires a minimum of five years’ residence in Ireland on by the specific closing date.
To attract people from more minorities, the Defence Forces personnel will have a presence at citizenship days and direct contact with community groups in order to raise awareness of the Defence Forces and highlight career opportunities.
Initiatives established in the past two years continue to develop through active engagement with organisations such as GLEN (Gay, Lesbian, Equality Network) in order to promote the Defence Forces as an employer.
All applicants have to be 18 on or before May 22. They must not be older than 25, if seeking a job in the Army, and no older than 27 if looking to get into the Naval Service.
“This planned recruitment over 2016-17 will enable us to rejuvenate our Defence Forces with the induction of young, enthusiastic and committed men and women,” Mr Coveney said.
He said the government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel and the recruitment campaign will enable it to achieve this.
Current strength in the Army is 7,500, with 1,000 each in the Naval Service and Air Corps.
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