100 new Garda recruits to begin training in July
Move comes after break of almost five years in recruitment
The first round of Garda recruitment will see 100 new recruits entering training next July, with up to an additional 200 members recruited by the end of next year in a further two intakes, it has emerged.
The move comes after a break of almost five years in recruitment, with Garda numbers now below 13,100.
The delay in the first intake will mean numbers will fall well below 13,000 by the time the recruits enter the college. Garda numbers will be close to 12,500 by the time they have completed their initial 32-week training in early 2015.
Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has said repeatedly he did not want to see numbers fall below 13,000
Following the initial 32 weeks training in the college, the new recruits will face a further period of 72 weeks training while posted to stations. On completing that period they will be awarded a BA in Applied Policing. They will have the power of arrest after 32 weeks.
The training programme is now much shorter than before, with changes to the way personnel are trained having been introduced since the last class to pass out entered training in May 2009. The main change sees a shorter period training in the Garda College, Templemore, Co Tipperary, and longer ‘on the job’ learning based in stations.
Over 30,000 people have already expressed an interest in joining the force in the period since recruitment was suspended under the public sector recruitment moratorium.
The recruitment programme will involve an online aptitude test following by a second similar test in an examination-style environment. The process will then move to the traditional interview and assessment stages.
While the height recruitment has been abolished, candidates will have to pass a physical assessment. Recruits will need a minimum of Leaving Cert qualification, though most new gardai in recent years have had third level qualifications. Up to 10 per cent of the first intake will be Irish language speakers.
Minister for Justice Alan Shatter and Commissioner Callinan are expected to outline more detail about the plans when they speak to the media at a passing out ceremony this afternoon at the Garda College.