An Garda Síochána opened a new recruitment competition for Garda trainees today in their bid to achieve more diversity in the force.

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.

For the first time, the Garda uniform code will allow the wearing of the turban for members of the Sikh community and the hijab for members of the Muslim community.

Up to 1,000 new recruits are expected to be hired by 2021. The new recruitment ad campaign comes with the slogan – The Difference is You.

Alterations are being considered for the Garda uniform to take account of religious and ethnic requirements subject to operational, and health and safety obligations. This approach is in line with that adopted by police services around the world.

“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 Drew Harris.

Mr Harris said that working with An Garda Siochana is a hugely rewarding career:

“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.”

There are currently 14,161 members of An Garda Síochána and there is a Government commitment to grow this to 15,000 by 2021.

Garda trainee candidates can apply on until 3pm on April 24 2019.