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Defence Forces

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 2 November 2021

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

Ceisteanna (460)

Sorca Clarke

Ceist:

460. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence the average notice period given to applicants to the Reserve Defence Force for induction testing in each of the years 2018 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form. [52568/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I have been advised by the Military Authorities that the average notice period given to applicants to the Reserve Defence Force for the various stages of the recruitment process for each of the years specified is as detailed in the following table:

Applied

Invite to Interview/Fitness

Fitness/Interview Conducted

Invite to Medical

Medical Conducted

Employed

2018

9 Weeks after application

2 Weeks after invite

7 Weeks after fitness/interview

2 Weeks after invite

12 Weeks after medical

April 2019

10 Weeks after application

4 Weeks after invite

4 Weeks after fitness/interview

2 Weeks after invite

16 Weeks after medical

Oct 2019

8 Weeks after application

3 Weeks after invite

11 Weeks after fitness/interview

2 Weeks after invite

19 Weeks after medical

2020

12 Weeks after application

8 Weeks after invite

32 Weeks after fitness/interview

2 Weeks after invite

Majority of applicants pending

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a very significant impact on Defence Forces recruitment, including to the Reserve, and has resulted in a pause to most collective training activities and induction processing. Nevertheless, 29 additional new members have been inducted thus far this year, with 17 inducted into the AR and 12 inducted into the NSR.

The Military Authorities have advised that a revised Defence Forces framework for living with COVID-19 is now in place, based on the recent easing of Government restrictions. This revised framework, I understand, facilitates the commencement of the RDF Induction Process with planned induction training to commence shortly. This of course, will be subject to continued guidance from Government on easing of restrictions.

While the Government remains committed to restoring the strength of the RDF, given the competing recruitment demands at present, where PDF recruitment is and should remain a priority, it should be noted that the same personnel and resources are utilised for both PDF and RDF recruitment. Nonetheless, RDF recruitment will also be progressed to the greatest extent possible.

Additionally, I understand that measures are currently under consideration by the military authorities with a view to streamlining elements of the induction process. The outcome of a pilot initiative in this regard, is awaited and will further inform next steps.

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