Submission on Employment Permits

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23 August 2023

This month, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) are reviewing the occupations lists. These lists, the Critical Skills Occupation List and Ineligible List of Occupations are in place to ensure that the employment permit system is aligned with current labour market needs.

Dublin Chamber’s own elected labour taskforce are doing its own review of these lists as to make sure these lists adequately provide labour supply where it is most needed. A paper has been drafted outlining the areas in which the list must be revised to more appropriately account for jobs that are experiencing shortages.

Through previous surveys conducted by Dublin Chamber, research shows that approximately 80% of Dublin businesses identify attracting and retaining staff as its top priority. Talent scarcity in Ireland is a new phenomenon, growing considerably since 2018, as it is now well above the global average in terms of skills shortages. Dublin Chamber believes the reviewing of employment permits can be an effective solution in combatting the growing skills shortages experienced throughout the Dublin region. 

This week, in a study carried out by Indeed, Ireland was found to be the third most attractive country within the EU for international jobseekers when browsing for new employment. Personal care & health, software developers and administrative assistants being the most popular. The majority of overseas clicks were from outside the EU from countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India and Brazil. It is essential that non-EEA nationals’ importance for the labour market are observed and the necessary immigration legislation in place.

Of Dublin Chamber’s paper on employment permits some recommendations include:

  • Declaring a national skills crisis and define an appropriate benchmark to measure this.
  • Conduct an immediate audit of the Ineligible List of Occupations with a view to the temporary suspension of several occupations from this list.
  • Consider a number of occupations for immediate integration into the Critical Skills Occupations List including elementary construction workers to alleviate the lack of labour supply in the construction industry.
  • A multifaceted approach must be taken to alleviate the skills crisis, this includes proactive measures to future proof Ireland’s talent in the long term, including addressing the country’s brain drain.
  • Expediate the Employment Permit Bill 2022 as the mechanisms contained within the Bill are essential for capturing evolving labour market needs.

If you have any queries about the consultation or want to express opinions regarding what roles are on the critical skills list that are apparent to your business, please contact the policy team at

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