Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (51, 56)

Jack Chambers

Question:

51. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the specific measures taken to increase recruitment into the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32111/19]

View answer

Jack Chambers

Question:

56. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps he has taken to address the low levels of satisfaction with the recruitment process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32116/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 56 together.

The Government remains committed to maximising recruitment capacity in order to return to, and maintain, the agreed strength of the Permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel.

In this context, the Defence Forces continue to implement a recruitment plan which targets General Service Recruits, Cadets and specialists for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service. In addition, a range of alternative recruitment approaches are being developed, aimed at addressing vacancies in specialist areas.

The current recruitment and induction process is kept under on-going review to ensure it continues to effectively determine suitability for entry to the Defence Forces.  For example, the application process for General Service recruitment now remains open throughout the year and so affords more opportunities for applicants to apply.

The conditions for entry to and service in the Permanent Defence Force, including the methodologies used for assessments and the sequencing of the individual components of the recruitment process, are subject to continuous review and modification having regard to the needs of the Organisation and the development of best practices.

The recent report of the Public Service Pay Commission on recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces also made recommendations to address the current recruitment challenges being experienced by the Permanent Defence Force and these are being progressed. This will include a review of recruitment methods.