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More than 15,000 apply for 5,000 Census jobs

More than three times as many people applied for 5,000 jobs to carry out this year's census, it emerged today.

The Central Statistics Office revealed it has begun interviewing 15,773 people to fill the enumerator positions across the country.

The 2011 Census takes place on Sunday, April 10.

Deirdre Cullen, from the CSO, said there was an overwhelming response to the recruitment process, with the quota of applicants reached within less than 48 hours.

"All those who applied online for the positions of census enumerator will be interviewed," she said.

"Over 440 census field supervisors will conduct the interviews nationwide over the coming weeks.

"We hope to have notified all successful applicants by the end of February."

The most recent 2006 Census showed more than 4.2 million people were living in the Republic.

The application process opened on January 6 and automatically closed when it reached the quota of 15,000.

However, officials had to reopen the process a week later because it needed more candidates for parts of Donegal, Kerry, west Cork, west Galway and Leitrim.

Successful applicants will begin their contracts on Tuesday, March 8 and work for approximately 10 weeks commencing for an average €2,200 for 22 hours' work a week.

Ms Cullen said enumerators are a vitally important part of the census process.

"We have found, for the most part, that enumerators find it a very rewarding experience and many have done more than one census," she said.

"Given the extensive contact that they have with the public, it is important that enumerators have patience, tact and consideration.

"They must also be able to read maps and understand detailed instructions. It can be helpful if they have some survey, market research or practical social work experience, but this is not essential."

PA Media