Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.51 3 Apr 2019


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Changes to work permits will see construction workers from countries outside the European Economic Area able to work in Ireland.

The Government has said the changes are to address labour shortages in key sectors.

It follows a comprehensive review of the employment permits system.

Ireland operates a managed employment permit system through occupation lists, namely the Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations.

These are reviewed twice a year in an evidence-based process.

Following the first bi-annual review of 2019, Business Minister Heather Humphreys has announced key changes.

Several occupations are being added to the 'Critical Skills' list - including civil engineers, quantity surveyors and construction project managers.

Mechanical and electrical engineers with BIM capabilities, as well as high performance directors and coaches for high-level sports organisations, have also been added.

While a number of other occupations have been taken off the 'Ineligible' list - including sheet metal workers, welding trades, pipefitters and air-conditioning engineers.

Shuttering carpenters, glaziers and scaffolders have also been removed from the list.

Commenting on the changes, Minister Humphreys said: "Our economic migration policy accommodates the arrival of non-EEA nationals to fill capacity gaps in the domestic economy in the short to medium term, while still prioritising, wherever possible, Irish and EEA nationals in the awarding of contracts of employment.

"The changes I have announced today demonstrate that the employment permit system is sufficiently agile and flexible to respond to evolving needs of the labour market."

"Construction in Ireland is an important economic sector, which is broadly based across the country, supporting employment in all regions.

"During the recent economic downturn, it suffered more than most and many skilled workers left Ireland to find opportunities abroad.

"I am aware that the sector is actively seeking to encourage many of these workers back to take up jobs in Ireland but despite those efforts, there is still a significant supply gap and companies are experiencing real skills shortages."

More information can be found here


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Construction Construction Workers Critical Skills European Economic Area Heather Humphreys Ineligible List Ireland Labour Shortages Work Permits Workers

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