Wednesday, 14 September 2022
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
69. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if a work permit allocation and application system is in place for HGV drivers from Ukraine, Argentina and North Macedonia once licences from these three countries are recognised in Ireland to deal with the severe HGV driver shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44721/22]
Ireland operates a managed employment permits system maximising the benefits of economic migration and minimising the risk of disrupting Ireland’s labour market. The regime is designed to accommodate the arrival of non-EEA nationals to fill skills and labour gaps for the benefit of our economy, in the short to medium term.
As part of a cross-Departmental response to the crisis in the transport/logistic industry my Department took steps to assist the sector with HGV Driver recruitment by eliminating the restriction of a quota allocation of permits for this role. The role of HGV driver is eligible for the General Employment Permit and may be granted to the holders of valid mutually recognised CE/C1E licences verified by the Road Safety Authority (RSA). At present four countries are covered by mutual recognition agreements for CE/C1E licences – South Africa, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Issues relating to mutual recognition and validation of driving licences should be addressed to the Department of Transport and the Road Safety Authority who have policy responsibility for this sector.
While the Department welcomes Ireland’s response to the arrival of Ukrainian nationals by providing them full access to the labour market similar to the rights of EEA nationals, validation of the Ukrainian HGV driving licence – as with the Argentinian and North Macedonian licences – is also a matter for the Minister for Transport.