1,800 apply to fill just 42 Defence Force posts for cadets
More than 1,800 people have applied for the Defence Force's latest recruitment drive.
The huge demand means only one in every 43 applicants will get a place on the programme.
The flood of applications received by the Defence Force for its annual Cadetship Competition has now become a common theme as young people continue to seek employment opportunities outside the traditional jobs sphere.
A total of 1,826 people had applied for this year's programme by last week's application deadline.
However, a spokesperson for the Defence Forces told the Irish Independent there are only 42 positions available at the end of the competition.
A cadetship, or army line officer training, is a course designed to train potential commissioned officers to take up operational appointment in the Permanent Defence.
Salaries for cadets begin at €16,599. Candidates could apply for any of four different positions advertised by the Defence Forces.
A breakdown shows that the Army was the most popular option with 997 applications received for the 20 places available.
The odds are staked even further against the 480 people who applied for the Air Corps where there are just nine places on offer – or a one in 53 chance of success.
Some 235 people applied for the 11 spaces available in the Naval Service Operations and Engineers competition while the Army Equitation received 114 applications for just two positions.
Despite the high figures, the number of applications is down on the last two years.
Last year, some 2,607 people applied for just 35 cadetships. In 2012, 2,474 applications were received for 39 positions.
Only those aged between 18 and 28 are eligible to apply for a cadetship.
There are also certain height and educational requirements.
This year's applicants will now face online psychometric testing as well as fitness and medical examinations and a final interview.
The government previously set a limit of 9,500 members for the Defence Forces.
There are currently more than 9,000 members of which 419 are serving overseas across 17 different countries.