Written Answers. - Defence Forces Recruitment.

Jack Wall

Ceist:

100 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Defence the number of applications received for membership of the Defence Forces arising from the recruitment campaign launched in February 2002; the total number of applications accepted; the total number of recruits currently in training; the total number of retirements or discharges during the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18781/03]

In 2002 a total of 4,234 applications were received for consideration for positions in the Permanent Defence Force. Of this figure, 2,750 were applications for general service recruitment. As a result, 500 general service recruits were enlisted of whom 93 were subsequently discharged.

In 2003 to date 3,208 applications have been received for positions in the Permanent Defence Force of which 1,798 were for general service recruitment. As a result, to date this year, 194 general service recruits have been enlisted. At present there are 92 recruits in training.

The number of applications received for cadetships in 2002 and 2003 was 1,047 and 1,111 respectively. As a result of the 2002 cadetship competition 71 cadets were enlisted. The cadetship competition 2003 is currently ongoing.

Some 143 applications were received for apprenticeships in the Air Corps and as a result 17 Air Corps apprentices were enlisted on 23 September, 2002. The 2003 Air Corps apprenticeship competition was advertised on 23 March, 2003 and the closing date for receipt of applications was 15 April, 2003. A total of 250 applications were received for this competition.
In 2002 a total of 294 applications were received for direct entry competitions for appointments for medical officers, engineers, ordnance corps officers, watchkeeping officers, engine room officers, electrical and engine room artificers in the Naval Service and instrumentalists in the Army School of Music. As a result, 27 direct entry officers, 15 electrical and engine room artificers and eight instrumentalists were appointed.
Direct entry competitions for appointments for medical officers, engineers, watchkeeping officers, electrical officers, marine engineer officers and engine room artificers in the Naval Service along with instrumentalists in the Army School of Music and dental surgery assistants are currently being held. To date in 2003, a total of 49 applications have been received for direct entry competitions. As a result, nine direct entry officers along with one instrumentalist have been appointed. It is expected that there will be further direct entry appointments throughout the year.
In 2002 there were a total of 283 retirements from the Permanent Defence Force and for the first four months of 2003 the figure was 84. This figure includes all officers, who retired either voluntarily or on age grounds, and non-commissioned personnel who retired on pension after 21 years or on age grounds.
In addition over the same period a total of 598 non commissioned personnel were discharged of which 482 were discharged in 2002 and 116 from 1 January to 30 April, 2003 inclusive.
Question No. 101 answered with Question No. 95.