IRELAND – Changes to employment permits system to address labour shortages in key sectors
Effective 22 April 2019, changes have been announced to the Critical Skills List of Occupations and the Ineligible List of Occupations, following the first bi-annual review of 2019.
The changes include an allowance of an extra 300 workers in the area of customs duties and control, an area which is forecast to see a sharp increase in demand in the event of Brexit, “managed or otherwise”.
Critical Skills List
The following occupations have been added to the Critical Skills List of Occupations, which means that they will qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit:
- Civil engineers;
- Quantity surveyors;
- Construction project managers;
- Mechanical and electrical engineers with BIM capabilities;
- High Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations.
Ineligible Occupations List
The following occupations have been removed from the Ineligible List of Occupations, which means they will qualify for a general Employment Permit:
- Sheet metal workers;
- Welding trades;
- Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Engineers;
- Shuttering Carpenters;
- Glaziers, window fabricators & fitters;
- Scaffolders, stagers & riggers;
- Crane drivers;
- Career guidance teachers (secondary schools).
The following additional occupations have been removed from the Ineligible List of Occupations by quota, which means they will qualify for a general Employment Permit:
- Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders; Cargo & Freight Agents; Brokerage Clerks) subject to a quota of 300;
- Plasterers subject to a quota of 250;
- Bricklayers subject to a quota of 250.
The employment permits system is managed through the use of lists designating highly skilled occupations in high demand (which qualify for the Critical Skills Employment Permit) and lower-skilled ineligible occupations (for which employment permits are not granted.) The lists are reviewed twice a year to ensure their ongoing relevance. Every other job in the labour market is eligible for an employment permit, after a Labour Market Needs Test.
- Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.