The Irish Defence Forces have launched a huge-scale recruitment drive with almost 1,000 jobs coming available in 2017.

The recruitment drive is hoped to bring more diversity to the Defence Forces, with a focus placed on women and ‘new Irish’.

There will be opportunities across the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps as 860 positions will be open across the services. The drive will target general service recruits, apprentices and cadets.

This is the biggest ever recruitment drive on record, which has been launched by the Government to maintain strong personnel numbers at 9,500.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe said, “It is vital that we continue to recruit young men and women to both maintain the strength level and military capability and to ensure fresh thinking. I would encourage any young person who is currently thinking about his or her future career to consider the opportunities available in the Defence Forces.”

Mr Kehoe added that recruits will get unique career opportunities and first class training. There will be a particular focus on inclusion of people from all demographics.

“The Defence Forces welcomes and respects all, irrespective of gender, creed, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” the Minister said.