Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Work Permits Data
472. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of applications for work permits received in each month over the past six months; and the number of applications that remained to be processed at the end of each month from September 2019 to February 2020, in tabular form. [3690/20]
My officials inform me that 2019 saw an 11-year high in applications for employment permits with a total of 18,940 applications received, a 13% increase over 2018.At the same time there was also an 11 year high in the amount of decisions made on applications with a total of 18,655 decisions, a 22% increase on 2018.
Up to week commencing 9 December the number of applications in the processing queue stood at 2,238, a 16% reduction in the processing queue from year end 2018 (2,620). However, there was then a 45% spike in applications during the last two weeks of December (compared to December 2018) as applicants anticipated changes to Employment Permit Regulations coming into effect from 1 January 2020, which increased the number of applications in the processing queue to 2,988. January 2020 has seen the increase in applications received continue with 1,626 applications for the month. This represents a 39% increase compared with January 2019.
Over the course of 2019 and into 2020, my officials have introduced a number of operational changes, streamlined processes and implemented ICT solutions and additional staffing resources have been assigned to the section. As a result of these changes, the processing queue has now begun to reduce.
An independent Business Process Review (BPR) of the work of the Employment Permits Section of my Department has been carried out to identify further efficiencies that can be implemented in the short term and as a first step in the development of a new IT processing system during 2020 which will take advantage of all the new technologies available, including full digitisation.
The Department’s officials have been proactively engaging with customers to notify them of current processing timelines through email, meetings and regular updates on the Employment Permits section of the DBEI website.
The statistics requested by the Deputy are set out in the attached document.