IRELAND | Improvements to Employment Permits Process Benefit Employers of Foreign Nationals

There have been several positive new changes to the Employment Permits scheme in Ireland. A new online application system will debut in September, making the application process for work permits easier for employers and foreign nationals in The Emerald Isle. Also announced last week, immediate changes were made to the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL) allowing Irish sponsoring companies to employ more foreign nationals. Further, the requirements for Trainees under Intra-Company Transfers have also been relaxed.

The Steady Rise of Ireland’s Labor Markets

According to the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), which advises the Irish government on current and future labor needs, the Irish labor market has seen steady improvement in the last three years, and that improvement is beginning to be felt by employers in worker shortages in certain high-demand skills. A recent study by the specialist recruitment firm Hays Ireland stated that Ireland is now beginning to experience a “talent mismatch.” In other words, while there is a measurable but declining unemployment rate (projected to be 7.5 percent by September), Irish employers are finding themselves unable to fill certain skilled positions with local labor. This problem is exacerbated by the large emigration out of Ireland which occurred during the last recession. As a result, employers are looking to foreign workers to fill the gaps in numerous sectors, including IT, engineering, and skilled construction.