Last year, the Department of Agriculture launched a competition to recruit Technical Agricultural Officers which proved hugely popular.
The post was advertised on 15th April 2016 with a closing date of 5th May.
All applicants were invited to participate in online psychometric testing and the top 150 candidates were invited to attend for retest.
Candidates who successfully passed the retest were invited to interview and a panel of 65 candidates was formed.
The Department says offers of appointment are made strictly on the basis of a person’s placing on the panel in conjunction with the candidate’s preferred location as originally indicated on the application form.
In the event that a candidate refuses an offer of appointment to a specific location, the candidate retains his placing on the panel but forfeits the right to be offered any further vacancy in that location.
Where a candidate accepts an offer of appointment, he/she undergoes a clearance process that includes verification of qualifications and experience and Garda vetting.
Responding to questioning from Fianna Fail, Agriculture Spokesperson Charlie McConalogue recently the Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed said to date the Department has notified 38 vacancies to PAS and the process of offering positions to persons on the panel is underway.
15 candidates have taken up employment in the Department while a further 15 candidates have accepted offers of appointment and are undergoing the clearance process.
The Minister said it is envisaged that further vacancies at Technical Agricultural Officer will arise and that a second batch of candidates will be called to interview in due course.