Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Public Accounts Committee

2020 Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General and Appropriation Accounts
Vote 32 - Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Chapter 6 - Covid-19 Restart Grant Schemes

9:30 am

Dr. Orlaigh Quinn:

I mentioned earlier that we do a twice-yearly review of all Departments in respect of the skills they need and recognise in their sectors. Last year we did three, again because of Covid-19 and its impact. We are very much guided by the individual sectors and the Department of Health is clearly very important. More broadly, we must always achieve a balance between those who are on the live register, creating jobs and bringing in people. It is the type of evidence we expect from Departments. I mentioned earlier that last year, for example, we prioritised the healthcare sector in particular because of the pandemic and we brought in over 4,000 nurses in 2020. We also brought in over 4,000 doctors to support our colleagues in the health sector. We had over 9,000 employment permits just in the health sector alone that came in 2020.