By Madeline O’Connor
A total of 1,826 people had applied for this year’s Defence Force Cadets programme by last week’s application deadline.
There are only 42 positions available, which means that only one in every 43 applications will be accepted onto the annual Cadetship Competition.
This year’s surge of applications reflects the numbers that have applied in recent years, as young people look to areas outside of the traditional job markets in an effort to find work.
The course is designed to train potential commissioned officers to take up operational appointment in the Permanent Defence, with salaries for cadets starting at €16,599.
Candidates could apply for four different positions advertised by the Defence Forces, and the most popular option, with 997 applications received for just 20 posts available, was the most popular choice.
Last year, 2,607 people applied for 35 cadetships. In 2012, 2,474 applied for 39 positions.
Applicants must be between 18 and 28 to be eligible, and meet specific height and educational requirements.
The Irish Defence Forces currently has over 9,000 members, 419 of whom are serving overseas in 17 different countries.