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Posted on December 21 2015

Irish work permit system amongst best in EU

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023

A recent study by Ireland's Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) says that Ireland is ahead of most European Member States in 'linking labour market intelligence to migration policy.' The new study by ESRI found that the Irish work permit system performs well in adapting to skills shortages and skills surpluses.

The ESRI attributes the excellent performance of the Irish work permit system to the systems in place to allow entry of immigrants with the necessary skills for the Irish economy in proven skills shortage areas.

The study found that although other European Member States are attempting to establish links between economic migration policies and skills shortages, Ireland leads the way for trying to connect every type of work permit to areas with high labour market shortages.

User-friendly application process

An excerpt from the study states: "Positive legislative and policy developments and a more user-friendly application process have made it easier to attract highly-skilled workers." Author of the report, Emma Quinn, said: "Ireland has taken an innovative, incremental approach to identifying skills and labour shortages."

"The study highlights that the Irish work permit system is now well linked to information concerning skills and labour shortages. The response of the work permit system to labour market intelligence is becoming more important as the economy continues to improve and labour market shortages become more widespread," she added.

Changes to Irish Work Visa regulations

Changes to immigration visa regulations, introduced in September 2015 under the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act, have simplified the process for overseas workers to secure an Irish work permit. The amended regulations allow for the expansion of occupations eligible for employment permits in Ireland to include IT and telecommunications engineers among others. Equally, other occupations became ineligible for an Irish work permit.

An element of Ireland's extensive economic policy focuses on attracting and supporting high-value added investment, specifically across constricted occupations and industry sectors like ICT and pharmaceuticals. Ms Quinn said: "This can lead to skills demands that are difficult for the domestic labour force to meet."

She added: "Although up-skilling the domestic population remains the priority, non-EU migration can allow for a swift response to emerging skill shortages and provide a continuous supply of skilled workers in areas where the number of graduates remains low."

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