I am informed by the military authorities that there are currently 61 apprentices in training in the Air Corps and 92 vacancies for technicians at Airman Rank.
Challenges exist in recruiting and retaining certain specialists such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers, and certain Technicians. These specialist can prove difficult to retain where, as in the current economic environment and jobs market, there are demands for such specialists in other sectors. This is a challenge being faced by military forces elsewhere and is not confined to Ireland.
In this context, there is ongoing recruitment to replace personnel who depart and recruitment to the Permanent Defence Force continued throughout 2018.
The Public Service Pay Commission has been tasked with examining recruitment and retention issues in the Defence Forces and its findings will be considered when provided.
The Government is committed to retaining the capacity of the Defence Forces to operate effectively across all roles and to undertake the tasks laid down by Government both at home and overseas.