An Garda Síochána, in conjunction with the Public Appointments Service, has today opened a recruitment competition for Garda trainees.
The competition, which is open from today until 3pm on April 24 2019, is seeking to attract candidates from across society and with a wide-variety of skills to join An Garda Síochána.
As of 31 March 2019, there are 14,161 members of An Garda Síochána and there is a Government commitment to grow this to 15,000 by 2021.
The competition is being supported by an advertising campaign under the slogan of – The Difference is You.
The advertising campaign is based on research with Garda students and new recruits who said they joined An Garda Síochána to help people, because it was not like any other job, and it had great variety. The campaign will feature Garda members in a number of situations where every day skills can transfer into policing. The campaign will run across radio, online and social media from today, and TV and online video channels from April 12.
Commissioner Drew Harris said: “An Garda Síochána is a growing organisation and this new competition is very welcome. We have been attracting high calibre people to the organisation, but it is vital in a time of near full employment that this continues.
“We also know that we need to become a much more diverse organisation so that we properly reflect the society we serve. That is why our campaign is focusing on people who might not have previously considered a career as a Garda member. They have the skills we need for a policing role, but they might not have thought they could transfer those to being a Garda. Fundamentally, we are looking for people who thrive on keeping people safe. Policing is a highly rewarding career where every day you can make a difference to the lives of individuals and communities. We want to encourage people from all walks of life to join us. We are looking for diversity not only in background, but also in skills.”
In order to encourage candidates from minority communities, An Garda Síochána will consider alterations to the Garda uniform to take account of religious and ethnic requirements subject to operational, and health and safety obligations.
For example, An Garda Síochána is to allow the wearing of the turban for members of the Sikh community and the hijab for members of the Muslim community. An Garda Síochána has identified such matters as a major barrier to some people considering becoming a Garda member.
This approach is in line with that adopted by police services such as the PSNI, Police Scotland, New Zealand Police, NYPD, and other police services in UK, Australia and Canada.
“We hope that this will encourage people from minority communities to join An Garda Síochána. We want to demonstrate to them that An Garda Síochána is an inclusive employer that is serious about becoming more diverse,” said Commissioner Harris.
An Garda Síochána will update its uniform policy to reflect this change.
An Garda Síochána is also carrying out research with communities who are under-represented in An Garda Síochána to identify what more the organisation needs to do to encourage them to join An Garda Síochána either as a Garda member, Garda staff or Garda reserve.