Shire Opens New HQ Office in Dublin City Centre

Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG), the global leader in serving patients with rare diseases, announces the opening of its new office in Ireland at the Miesian Plaza on Dublin’s Baggot Street. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, will join Shire leaders to formally open and dedicate the company’s new offices at an event held today.

Shire’s HQ office will move from its current location in Citywest, including the local commercial and technical operations (supply chain and IT) employees based there, who will move into Baggot Street in the coming months.

Shire has leased 76,000 sq. ft. of the Miesian Plaza. The company has located one of its global corporate services teams in the building who provide support services across Shire’s global operations in the areas of procurement and finance. They are in the process of hiring 150 new employees to join this team.

By the end of June 2017, approximately 300 Shire employees will be based at the Miesian Plaza. The leased space also provides additional accommodation as Shire’s requirements increase over time.

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD said: “I met the Shire CEO Dr Flemming Ørnskov at the World Economic Forum in Davos last January. I am glad they have chosen Ireland as the location for a further 150 jobs. This thriving company and their pioneering work in the field of bio-medicine is exactly the type of business we seek to attract. Our unemployment rate has gone from 15.2% to 6.4% and the Government will continue to work for a robust economy for all our people.”

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said, “As Minister for Jobs, I welcome Shire’s ongoing commitment to Ireland. The pharma industry makes a huge contribution to the Irish economy in terms of jobs and manufacturing exports, and is one of our fastest growing sectors. We are very keen to attract speciality pharma companies like Shire who will broaden the reach of the industry here and generate new opportunities.”

Alan Walshe, General Manager for Ireland said: “It’s an exciting time for us at Shire in Ireland. The decision to open our corporate HQ at the Miesian Plaza and last year’s announcement of our investment in a state-of-the-art biologics facility at Piercetown in County Meath demonstrates that Ireland remains an important part of Shire’s global footprint and future strategy.”

Welcoming the announcement Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said: “Ireland is a global centre of excellence in life sciences due to the country’s strong regulatory track record and talent availability. Shire’s continued growth here across a number of business activities and its previously announced manufacturing investment is a clear endorsement of Ireland’s ongoing attractiveness to overseas companies.”

Tenable Selects Dublin as Home for its First International Headquarters

Tenable Network Security®, Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity, today announced, in partnership with Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, the opening of its new international headquarters in the heart of the Dublin Docklands, and its plans to create 100 jobs over the next two years.

Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO of Tenable, with the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, marked the grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the company’s commitment and investment in the local Dublin economy.

Speaking at today’s announcement, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, “I warmly welcome the establishment of your international headquarters here in Dublin and the announcement that this will create an additional 100 jobs over the next two years. The ICT Sector has made extraordinary advances in recent years, but these advances bring their own security challenges. That’s where companies like Tenable come in. These jobs are an additional boost to the 6,000 already working in cybersecurity here. I wish you and your team the very best and I look forward to watching your company thrive and grow in the coming years.”

“Tenable is a fast-paced, innovative security company, so it’s only natural we chose Dublin, a city known around the world for its tech talent, as the home of our first international headquarters,” said Amit Yoran, chairman and CEO, Tenable. “I’m grateful to the Minister and IDA for this warm welcome, and I’m excited for Tenable to be part of this great community.”

Welcoming the announcement, Martin Shanahan, CEO, IDA Ireland said, “Tenable’s decision to establish its new international headquarters in Dublin significantly bolsters Ireland’s reputation as a cybersecurity hub within Europe. Ireland, as a committed member of the European Union, provides companies with access to a highly skilled and mobile IT talent pool. IDA looks forward to supporting the company as it grows and develops its international footprint from Ireland.”

The grand opening comes on the heels of record results for the company, which added a number of new enterprise customers and increased its EMEA headcount by 76 percent in 2016. With its new international headquarters, Tenable now has offices in 20 countries, allowing the company to better respond to surging global demand for its innovative products.

To learn about opportunities at Tenable, visit the company’s career site at tenable.com/careers, and follow career updates on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Chopped to double in size with 20 new Irish outlets, 430 new jobs and UK expansion

Today, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Brian Lee co-founder and managing director of Chopped (@ChoppedIRL), the healthy food company, announced the creation of 320 new jobs, a mix of full and part time, as a result of Chopped’s continued expansion in Ireland. Chopped will open 20 new stores across the country in 2017. These stores will be joined by six new Chopped stores in the UK, its first outside Ireland, with the creation of 110 jobs to service the new outlets and manage the international roll out of the brand. The 20 new stores will be mix of wholly owned and franchised outlets.

The new outlets will join existing Chopped locations in Dublin, Kildare and Galway. Chopped has recently opened new sites in Talbot Street, UCD in Dublin and Newcastle Road, Galway. 2017 will see the opening of Chopped outlets in counties Wicklow, Cork, Waterford and continued expansion in Dublin.

Commenting on the new jobs, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said: “I welcome this news that Chopped is creating 320 jobs in 20 new outlets across Ireland. Indigenous Irish businesses such as Chopped are important to the national economy as well as making a valuable contribution to local areas through employment and expenditure. Ireland has one of the fastest growing employment rates in Europe and it is home grown companies such as Chopped that are helping to sustain this. I am particularly pleased that this expansion will lead to job growth in regions as balanced regional development is a key priority for me. It’s great to see young business people in Ireland build on their success here to fuel international expansion and I wish Brian and Andy and their staff continued success in the future both at home and abroad.”

Speaking at the announcement, Brian Lee, co-founder and managing director of Chopped commented: “Last year we set a target of increasing our staff numbers by 100 and we exceeded that expectation by increasing our employees by 140 in 2016. When we received the keys for our first store five years ago, we knew it was the beginning of something great, but we still believe this is only the beginning for Chopped. Our staff are what makes Chopped the success it has become and we are looking forward to seeing our family grow as we expand across Ireland and beyond.”

Chopped was developed to meet the needs of the growing number of Irish consumers who want a great tasting meal that is healthy, delicious and fresh. Everything about the distinctive grass clad interior exudes freshness and the visionary open theatre of food allows Chopped to offer a ‘create your own salad’ experience in front of the customer in minimum time. Crisp lettuce selections, garden fresh vegetables, salad dressings, and more than 30 ingredients are ‘chopped’ and freshly dressed into a unique salad bowl or in a sealed savoury wrap. Full calories are counted for each salad, wrap and sandwich and Chopped offers a delivery, collection, take-away and dine-in service, with fast meal service times. With all the Chopped flavours created by a skilled team in central kitchens, consistency of flavour is guaranteed across all outlets.

Citrix to create 150 new jobs as part of expansion drive in Ireland

Today Citrix announced that it will create 150 new jobs as part of an expansion drive at its Dublin office, which is based in East Point Business Park, adding 26,000 square feet of office space to the current footprint. This project is supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland.

The job creation comes as a result of a decision to centralise Citrix’s Inside Sales activities in Dublin, combined with an increased focus on Customer Success services and the growing adoption of cloud technologies by businesses across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The new jobs will primarily consist of Inside Sales and Technical Support Services roles to support Citrix transition to a cloud model.

Citrix’s current office facilities will also be upgraded to provide a state-of-art work environment, which encourages open collaboration and social interaction. The expanded office will provide workspaces for over 400 employees and will host the EMEA Inside Sales and Tech Support functions and other support roles.

Speaking at the announcement, Minister for Jobs Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor said:
“I am delighted to be here today for this major expansion by Citrix. We already have a strong footprint of ICT companies in the Dublin area and we always encourage these companies to expand and diversify. That is exactly what Citrix have decided to do, with the creation of an additional 150 valuable, high skilled jobs, which is a great vote of confidence in what we have to offer. I am confident that Ireland has the IT skills available to facilitate this exciting expansion.”

Sherif Seddik, VP and Managing Director of Citrix EMEA, added:
“We ultimately decided that Dublin is the best location to attract the right talent and build out our Inside Sales EMEA practice. Having first committed to Ireland in 1999, we have gone from strength to strength and are delighted to continue our growth story in Dublin.
Citrix recognises that the mid-market and SMB segments, combined with the move to a Cloud-based model, are pivotal to our success. Adopting cloud technologies in the enterprise is much more complex than just downloading an app. Companies have to rationalise all of their past, present, and future investments and tie them together seamlessly as they progress toward the cloud future. Today’s announcement will enable us to create a better experience for our customers and partners.
We are looking for a wide range of talent, including new graduates, experienced technical support engineers and sales staff. We would encourage anyone looking to take their career to the next level to explore the roles available.”

Speaking at the announcement, Martin Shanahan, Chief Executive of IDA Ireland, said:
“The decision by Citrix to expand in Dublin is a major endorsement of Ireland as a premier EMEA location for global software companies. The expansion reflects the increasing strategic role that Citrix’s Irish operation will have for the company in EMEA. Ireland is a committed member of the European Union and provides companies with guaranteed access to the European market. Ireland continues to attract the brightest multilingual talent from across Europe to work and live here.”

As part of this expansion, Citrix is also establishing a Sales Academy at its Dublin offices in order to develop junior sales talent, with the aim of preparing them for more senior roles with the company in the future. For technical roles Citrix has an established internship program that has been accepting candidates for over five years and have developed close links with the universities and Institutes of Technology in Ireland.
Recruitment for the positions has already started and Citrix intends to fulfill up to half of the roles by the summer, before completing the recruitment drive by the end of the year. For details of how to apply for these positions please visit www.citrix.com/careers.

Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Minister welcomes the National Competitiveness Council Report, Competitiveness Benchmarking; Ireland and the UK, 2017

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation Mary Mitchell O’Connor has welcomed the National Competitiveness Council’s Report benchmarking Ireland & UK competitiveness, which she says will help inform Ireland’s ongoing response to the economic challenge posed by Brexit.

The report identifies a range of priority areas which will require policy responses in the short, medium and long term to safeguard Ireland’s national competitiveness.

“The Council’s report provides a timely reminder of Ireland’s strengths, which need to be protected and enhanced, and also of areas where we need to remain vigilant and accelerate progress on addressing competitiveness gaps with the UK so as to ensure job creation across all regions,” commented Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

While the Council advises against any narrowing of the tax base which would leave Ireland exposed and says it must be ensured that the tax system supports and rewards employment, enterprise, investment and innovation it has commended the Government’s efforts in bringing fiscal stability and improved performance, describing it as ‘exceptional’.

The 2017Action Plan for Job sets out an ambitious target for Ireland to achieve a top 5 global competitiveness ranking based on the IMD Competitiveness Scorecard by 2020.

The challenges posed by Brexit provide urgent impetus to pursue policies that enhance our competitiveness performance. We have already begun steps to address this, prioritising investment to improve the availability and quality of infrastructure as part of the Review of the Capital Plan and the forthcoming National Planning Framework.

The report finds that a skilled labour force must be the key emphasis for retaining and winning mobile investment and the growth of a cohort of internationally-trading indigenous companies. We are continuing to invest in skills development under the National Skills Strategy.

We are enhancing access to competitively priced sources of finance for growth to facilitate businesses to establish and grow, including non-bank financing sources and increasing public investment in R&D to enhance Ireland’s innovation performance.

The Minister says her Department and the Government are very conscious of the need for a sustained focus on competitiveness and, ahead of the report, had already set out 20 actions in the Action Plan for Jobs to ensure we are prepared for the immediate and more medium term impacts of Brexit. “Through the reforms set out in the 2017 Action Plan for Jobs, my Department and others are working to improve the ease of doing business, reduce the administrative burden by putting transactions on-line, enhance our cost competitiveness such as addressing insurance costs, increase innovation capacity and productivity and drive greater efficiencies across the enterprise base.”

The Minister continued: “My Department is also increasing resources for Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland to increase the competitiveness of our indigenous enterprise base and enhance our attractiveness as a location for FDI relative to the UK. We have increased resources for the enterprise development agencies. Enterprise Ireland has published its new strategy for the period to 2020 while IDA Ireland is undertaking a progress review of its five year strategy. We are undertaking a review of our own Government enterprise policy Enterprise 2025. We are examining the sector-by-sector implications of the UK leaving the Single Market. Work is underway on possible future supports for SMEs that could be impacted by Brexit. And as a follow-on to the Government’s new Trade and Investment Strategy, Ireland Connected, launched in March, Enterprise Ireland will shortly publish its Eurozone Strategy.”

“So much has been done already to respond to the challenge of Brexit and we will continue to implement improvements to policies that were identified as priority areas in the report. Competitiveness is key to success in international markets and helping businesses to improve their competitiveness will remain a key focus for my Department and the Government”, commented Minister Mitchell O’Connor.

 

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Seeks Participation from Irish Businesses in New Study on Corporate Social Responsibility

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has commissioned a national study on Corporate Social Responsibility and are seeking participation from businesses of all sizes operating in Ireland. This will be the first comprehensive study of its kind in Ireland and will inform the development of Ireland’s Second National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility which is due for publication this year
The study will assist the Government in ensuring Ireland’s international commitments in this area are met and, in this context, consultation with the private sector through the study is extremely important.

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD said “This first national study is important in determining the level of Corporate Social Responsibility in Ireland in 2017 so that good practices can be effectively encouraged and supported. This government is committed to encouraging and supporting quality employment opportunities and CSR has an important role to play in making Ireland a great place to work and to do business.”

Industry consultation is central to the government’s approach to supporting and developing good CSR practices in Ireland. The CSR Stakeholder Forum is comprised of industry representatives, academics and representatives of many government departments. The Forum has been meeting regularly since September 2015.

A new chair of the forum was recently announced with Catherine Heaney, Director of DHR Communications taking over from outgoing chair Brendan Jennings, Managing Partner at Deloitte Ireland.

Speaking about importance of CSR Catherine Heaney said “CSR has multiple benefits. It allows employees develop new skills, meet new people and work on projects outside of their comfort zone. It opens up opportunities for collaboration and networking between clients from different sectors. Most importantly, it means we know we can provide support to charities, organisations and individuals to which we are deeply committed.”

Businesses, of any size and sector, operating in Ireland are encouraged to participate in this study by visiting www.csrhub.ie and completing the survey by Friday 14th April 2017.

The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation promotes CSR online through the CSR Hub, the @CSRHubIRL Twitter account and a quarterly e-zine.

Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes further fall in monthly unemployment figures

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today (Tuesday) welcomed the Monthly Unemployment figures for March published by the Central Statistics Office, showing that the official unemployment rate has fallen from 6.6% in February to 6.4% in March and from 8.3 % in March 2016. The statistics also show:

· On a seasonally adjusted basis 3,300 fewer people were unemployed in March compared to February
· 39,800 fewer people were unemployed in March compared with twelve months earlier
· Unemployment among people aged between 15-24 has fallen by 0.6% in a month

Commenting on today’s figures Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “This further decrease in the monthly unemployment figures is great news. Seeing the unemployment rate for March drop down to 6.4% from 6.6% last month, meaning there are 3,300 less people unemployed, is very gratifying. I will continue with my Department and Government to focus on creating the best possible environment to sustain and grow jobs right across Ireland so that these figures can drop further. Being able to earn a livelihood is all important, allowing people to take charge of their future, to make plans and to have hope and optimism. I would like everyone to have that opportunity for self-determination and fulfilment through employment.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor announces €44m investment in early stage funding targeting high growth companies

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, has today announced that up to €44 million is being made available for co-investment in Seed and early stage growth companies, and through Enterprise Ireland has issued an open competitive call to fund managers to signal their interest in establishing Funds. This investment will leverage private sector funding to create a pool of capital to support the growth ambitions of high potential companies.

Enterprise Ireland is inviting expressions of interest from Funds to meet the venture capital demand from high potential start-ups. Funds that can demonstrate an ability to raise capital and support company growth are invited to make a submission under this call.

Enterprise Ireland is interested in Funds that will invest in areas that reflect its key strategic growth sectors to include food, software, fintech, General ICT, services, cleantech and lifesciences.

This is the third competitive call under the Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2013-18). The launch of this call is a key action under the Action Plan for Jobs Programme to support Irish start-ups and complements the other funding initiatives that have been established by Government. In 2016, Enterprise Ireland client companies created 19,244 new jobs in Ireland. Continued support for these enterprises will underpin increased job creation in the future.

Today’s announcement marks the delivery of a key commitment under the Action Plan for Jobs. To date, €131 million of the total €175 million committed under the Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2013-18) has been secured with several Funds having already successfully reached their funding targets.

Making the announcement, Minister Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: “It is well recognised that early stage, growth oriented companies create a significant proportion of the new jobs in the Irish economy, and that supporting this emerging cohort of companies requires a broad range of innovative initiatives. Today’s announcement of a further €44m in funding from Enterprise Ireland, to be leveraged by additional private sector funding, will assist with the development of the next generation of high potential companies emerging from Ireland, and complement all policies of investment in jobs by this Government.”

Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland, said: “At Enterprise Ireland, we acknowledge the importance of a supportive investor landscape to create and scale businesses across a range of sectors. This landscape has been building through our Seed & Venture Capital Schemes over the last 20 years. To date, private sector sources have raised over three and half times the funding already secured through Enterprise Ireland under the current Seed & Venture Capital Scheme (2013-18) and this will ensure a healthy supply of investment capital for high potential start-up companies. These businesses will contribute significantly to the Irish economy through the creation of high value, sustainable jobs and global export growth.”

 

Alter Domus announces 60 new jobs and a second office in Ireland

Dublin & Luxembourg, March 2017 – Alter Domus, a leading provider of Fund and Corporate Services, dedicated to international private equity & infrastructure houses, real estate firms, private debt managers, multinationals, capital markets issuers and private clients, is pleased to announce that it has opened its second office in Ireland in Cork with 60 new jobs.

Alter Domus was established in Ireland in 2011 and in 2014 the firm acquired Services. The team was set up in Dublin to provide the full suite of corporate services with strong activity in aircraft leasing, private equity, real estate and debt.

Speaking at the launch event Minister Mary Mitchell O Connor said: “This is a great win for Ireland and for Cork and adds to the existing hub of financial services companies. Ireland remains a committed member of the EU, benefitting from the many advantages that EU membership brings, including bilateral trade agreements with 3rd countries providing market access opportunities and a common predictable legal and regulatory framework. I’m confident that you will have no difficulty sourcing the skills you require for your International Centre of Excellence and I look forward to watching you grow in the coming years.”

Minister of State for Financial Services, Eoghan Murphy said: “I welcome today’s announcement by Alter Domus, not only for choosing to increase their specialist operations in Ireland, but for their foresight to expand into Cork. It perfectly illustrates the IFS 2020 priority to highlight the added-value of distributing operations both in Dublin and regional locations. I look forward to continue working with the IDA to promote the talent, connectivity and competitive offering to be found in our regional financial services hubs.”James McEvoy, Country Executive Ireland commented. “Today, we are delighted to now be able to offer Fund Administration services specialising in private equity, real estate, infrastructure and debt and further, to announce the opening of our International Centre of Excellence in Cork with the creation of 60 new jobs, while we continue to expand our operations in Dublin providing Corporate and Fund Services.”

Laurent Vanderweyen, CEO of Alter Domus commented “Ireland is an attractive jurisdiction for Alter Domus to further expand, Dublin already being a popular investment structuring destination for non-European fund managers, particularly from the US, looking for an entry point into the European market. Alter Domus, as a well-established provider in the alternatives domain across continental Europe, recognises the strategic importance of further building its presence in Ireland as this jurisdiction continues to attract interest from our clients in North America, the United Kingdom and beyond.”

Welcoming the announcement CEO of IDA Ireland Martin Shanahan said: “It is fantastic to see Alter Domus expanding its footprint in Ireland with the opening a second office in Cork. As a committed member of the EU, Ireland has a lot to offer with a proven track record with international financial services and a strong commitment to the single market. We look forward to working closely with the Alter Domus as they continue to grow their business in Ireland.”

Minister for Jobs updates Employment Permit Regulations

The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., has signed the Employment Permit Regulations 2017. Employment Permit Regulations are also now consolidated into a single set of regulations which makes them easier to understand and easier to use.

The Irish employment permits system is intended to act as a conduit for key skills which are required to develop enterprise in the State for the benefit of our economy, while simultaneously protecting the balance of the labour market. The system is by design, affected by the economy, expanding and contracting in tandem with its inherent fluctuations.

Lists of employments which identify critical skills in high demand in the economy, and skills for which there is ample capacity already in the resident labour market, are reviewed twice yearly using an evidence based process.

Following a review of the lists earlier this year, and which included a public consultation, the following changes have been approved by the Minister and have been given legal effect in the 2017 Regulations which will come into effect on 3 April:

· HGV drivers are removed from the ineligible list on a temporary basis and subject to a maximum quota of 120 General Employment Permits;

· Meat deboners remain off the ineligible list subject to a further maximum quota of 160 General Employment Permits bringing the total to 360, as 200 permits were made available under the 2015 Amendment Regulations.

· Level 10 (PhD) academics in designated Universities and Institutes of Technologies are added to the highly skilled list in order to help fulfil their obligations to hire the best staff available within the resources available to them. This change will provide for the recruitment of a very specific skill set while entry level academic appointments remain oriented to the Irish/EEA labour market.

The Minister stated “It is important that we monitor these regulations in order to keep up with the pace of our economy. Our willingness to connect to the global marketplace, and that includes the global exchange of skills, has facilitated Ireland’s ongoing recovery from recession. Our economic migration policy accommodates and reflects the increasingly global nature of enterprises. There are also broad horizons on offer in Ireland to highly skilled individuals from all over the world. Our migration policy allows that preference should be given, wherever possible, to Irish and European Economic Area nationals in the awarding of contracts of employment.”

The Minister continued “The arrival of non-EEA nationals to fill capacity gaps in the short to medium term is to be welcomed. I also recognise that there will always be a cohort of knowledge leaders, or those with novel or combination skill sets, which it would be advantageous to attract to work in Irish based enterprises.

However, in the longer term, I expect to see the demand for HGV drivers and meat deboners being met from a steady supply in the Irish labour market. An integrated approach is required to address these skills shortages and my Department has been working with the relevant Government Departments on developing such an approach. It has already produced tangible results in the meat processing sector.”

ENDS

Notes

The Irish State’s general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of Ireland, the European Union and other EEA states. Policy in relation to applications for employment permits remains focused on facilitating the recruitment from outside the EEA of highly skilled personnel, where the requisite skills cannot be met by normal recruitment or by training. Employment permit policy is part of the response to addressing skills deficits which exist and are likely to continue into the medium term, but it is not intended over the longer term to act as a substitute for meeting the challenge of up-skilling the State’s resident workforce, with an emphasis on the process of lifelong learning, and on maximising the potential of EEA nationals to fill our skills deficits.

The employment permits system is ordered through a list structure: the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List, which lists occupations in high demand in the Irish labour market and the Ineligible Categories of Employment List, which lists occupations for which there is ample capacity already in the Irish/EEA labour market. An evidence-based review of these lists is conducted by the Department twice a year in order to keep the orientation of economic migration firmly in step with the precise needs of the labour market. The next review is due to commence in April with the public consultation process on www.djei.ie

Ireland operates a vacancy-driven employment permits system. Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the EEA, an employment permit may be sought in respect of a non-EEA national who possesses those skills. Non-EEA nationals who work in Ireland on the basis of employment permits are subject to the same protections under Irish employment law as any other worker in the State.

For occupations that are not on the ineligible list and are not on the highly skilled list, an employment permit may be sought subject to a labour market needs test being conducted. All applications are processed in accordance with the Employment Permits Act 2006, as amended and are dependent on a specific job offer.

The employment permits regime is underpinned by the Employment Permits Acts 2003 -2014. The Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 reflects policy and economic developments since 2007, providing for more flexibility and targeted instruments in support of the economy’s evolving skills needs which often require rapid response and provides for a robust employment permits regime with greater clarity.

Regulations under the Employment Permits Acts prescribe specific criteria for the grant and renewal of employment permits including documentation requirements, remuneration levels, registration requirements, and lists of highly skilled and ineligible employments.

Since their commencement in October 2014, the Employment Permit Regulations (SI No. 432 of 2014) have been amended four times. In addition, the Trusted Partner Regulations (SI No. 172 of 2015), which commenced in May 2015, have also been since amended once. These regulations provide for the Trusted Partner Initiative which is designed to ease the administrative burden on employers in expansion mode and to remove the requirement that they replicate the same employer information in respect of each employment permit application made for grant or renewal.

The rate at which the principal regulations have been amended since 2014 demonstrates a dynamic employment permit regime that is responding to an ever-evolving labour market. However, the secondary legislation has become increasingly difficult to navigate. Thus, it was decided all employment permit regulations from 2014 to date be consolidated into a single set.

The 2017 Regulations provide not only for a consolidation of all employment permit regulations since 2014, but also for the revised highly skilled list and ineligible employments list. The revised lists are set out in Schedules 3 and 4 of the Regulations. Occupations on the highly skilled list include professional positions in medicine, ICT, sciences, finance and business. Occupations on the ineligible list are largely but not exclusively lower skilled occupations. Occupations not included on either list are considered eligible occupations for a General Employment Permit.

The principal changes to the lists are:

· Level 10 (PhD) academics in designated Universities and Institutes of Technologies are added to the highly skilled list. To fulfil national social and economic goals in terms of quality education and enterprise competitiveness, these third level institutions are obligated to hire the best staff available within the resources available to them. Mobility is a key part of the academic career structure and global academic labour market. Irish academics benefit from spending part of their careers abroad, as do international staff working in Ireland. In order to balance commitments to prioritising the resident and EEA labour market where this is appropriate while acknowledging the highly specialised nature of academic labour even within disciplines, the highly skilled list will provide for the recruitment of very specific skill set while entry level academic appointments remain oriented to the Irish/EEA labour market.

· HGV drivers with CE or C1E driving licences are removed from the ineligible list on a temporary basis and subject to a maximum quota of 120 permits. The Minister has written to the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport advising him of the decision to remove HGV drivers on a temporary basis. His Department will lead an integrated approach to meeting the long term demand for HGV drivers and which is being driven by growing levels of trade in exports and imports.

· Meat deboners remain off the ineligible list subject to a further maximum quota of 160 General Employment Permits, bringing the total to 360. In May 2015 the then Minister approved the temporary removal of meat deboners from the ineligible list subject to an initial quota of 200. The potential release of a second tranche of 160 permits was conditional on progress being reported by the sector on training/upskilling and the creation of additional employments.

The highly skilled and ineligible lists are reviewed on a bi-annual basis, using the research of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN) as well as a consultation process which includes considerations of submissions made by any interested party. The next review of the lists will commence shortly, and submissions will be invited at www.djei.ie.

The demand for employment permits in 2016 was 13,371 which was an increase of 13% on 2015 (11,783). The total number of employment permits issued in 2016 (9,383) was up 29% compared to 2015 (7,265).

Full information on the employment permits system can be found on the Department’s website at https://www.djei.ie/en/What-We-Do/Jobs-Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/.