The Defence Forces are to recruit 1,450 new personnel in the next two years. This latest recruitment campaign will see a little more than 600 new personnel inducted to the force this year and a further 850 in 2017.
The 2016 'Join Our Team' campaign was announced by Minister for Defence Simon Coveney, and will specifically aim to increase female recruitment, while also reaching out to people from all backgrounds and ethnicities.
The campaign will make use of social media channels, digital advertisements, the introduction of information programmes for applicants, and a streamlined online application process. The centrepiece of the campaign is a 60-second video which features Sergeant Valerie Cole (30 ) from Carrick-on-Shannon, who has served in a variety of appointments both at home and abroad in Chad during her 12 years of service. In her current role in the Non-Commissioned Officers Training Wing, Sgt Cole takes responsibility for the delivery of instruction on Defence Forces career courses.
More information can be found on the Defence Forces Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DefenceForces, or on Twitter @defenceforces. Application forms and guidance for the 2016 recruitment competitions can be found on www.military.ie
The news has been warmly welcomed by Mayor of Athlone Tom Farrell, who said: “This is good news for people in Westmeath and the Midlands who are seeking a fulfilling career which is challenging, offers clear paths to progress, and is rooted in public service. The Government is committed to maintaining the stabilised strength of the permanent Defence Force at 9,500 personnel and this current campaign will deliver on that commitment."
"Just over 6 per cent of Defence Forces personnel are women and the Government has pledged to increase female participation at all ranks," he added.
"It is also proposed to continue with outreach initiatives established in 2014/2015 which seek to engage with minority communities and new citizens.
"Initiatives established in 2014/2015 continue to develop through active engagement with organisations such as GLEN (Gay, Lesbian, Equality Network ) in order to promote the Defence Forces as an employer. The Defence Forces is committed to full equality among all its personnel, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation."