Written answers

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Work Permits

Photo of Alan DillonAlan Dillon (Mayo, Fine Gael)
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59. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the approved critical work permits available currently for each sector; the process to add a profession or sector onto this list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27112/21]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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Ireland’s employment permits system is by design, a vacancy led system inclusive of all sectors of the economy, driven by the changing needs of the labour market, expanding and contracting in tandem with its inherent fluctuations.

The system is managed through the operation of the critical skills and the ineligible occupations lists which determine occupations across all sectors that are either in high demand or are ineligible for consideration for an employment permit. The Critical Skills Occupation List is set out in Schedule 3 of the Employment Permits Regulations and can be found on my department’s website at .

These lists undergo twice yearly evidence-based reviews which is guided by available research undertaken by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), the Skills and the Labour Market Research Unit (SLMRU) in SOLAS and includes a public consultation process. Account is taken of education outputs, sectoral upskilling and training initiatives and known contextual factors such as Brexit and, in the current context, COVID 19 and their impact on the labour market. Consideration is also taken of the views of the relevant policy Department and the Economic Migration Inter-Departmental Group, chaired by my Department.

Changes to the occupation lists are considered where there are no suitable Irish/EEA nationals available, development opportunities are not undermined, genuine skills shortages exist rather than a recruitment or retention problem and Government education, training and economic development policies are supported.

In order to add or remove an occupation from the lists evidence is sought demonstrating that recruitment difficulties are solely due to shortages across the EEA and not to other factors such as salary and/or employment conditions. The review process invites stakeholders to provide data to substantiate claims of lack of skills or labour available in a detailed evidence-based business case. Consideration of each business case involves input by the lead policy Government Department for the sector as well as the Economic Migration Interdepartmental group.

The findings of the reviews are prepared for my consideration with approved recommendations implemented by amendment to the Employment Permits Regulations.


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