Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (52)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

52. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Defence the number of persons recruited to the Defence Forces under the re-enlistment scheme announced in March 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29105/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

On 1 April last, the former Minister with responsibility for Defence launched a scheme to re-enlist former Permanent Defence Force (PDF) enlisted personnel. The focus of the scheme is those former PDF personnel with particular skillsets identified by the Chief of Staff.

The scheme allows for initial re-enlistment for a minimum of six months and up to 3 years and the duration of the re-enlistment offered is dependent on the vacancies that exist. The re-enlistment of former personnel with the relevant skills and experience is one of the many actions being pursued to address skills shortages in the PDF. It is a medium to long term initiative which predates the COVID-19 and will assist both in the PDF response to the crisis and beyond.

There has been a positive response to the scheme, and applicants are currently at various stages in the process. I am advised by the Military Authorities that there is a requirement to undergo a comprehensive selection process, including interview and assessment, medical and security clearance phases.

Following their recommendation by the Chief of Staff, a total of twenty six applicants have been approved by me for re-enlistment Sixteen of those have been inducted to date with a further four scheduled to be inducted on 9th October 2020. I understand that further recommendations by the Chief of Staff of candidates to be re-enlisted under the scheme are imminent.

A separate scheme which provides for the re-commissioning of former Officers is also in place. To date, five Flying Officers have been re-commissioned, with further re-commissioning of Officers likely.

I welcome the re-enlistment and re-commissioning of these personnel and wish them well in their renewed careers in the Defence Forces. Their important contribution to the operational effectiveness of the Defence Forces is appreciated.

Question No. 53 answered with Question No. 20.