Graduate scheme

Graduate scheme extension could improve diversity in the workforce

17 Feb 2017

The Government has announced an extension to the ‘stay-back option’ from 12 months to 24 months.

Non-EU/EEA students can now stay in Ireland for twice as long after they’ve graduated with a level 9 or above qualification from a recognised awarding body based in the Republic of Ireland.

The Government recently announced the extension to the Third-Level Graduate Scheme, which is welcome news for international students and graduate employers alike.

Previously, the scheme allowed non-EU/EEA students who obtained a master’s or PhD from an Irish higher education institute to stay in the country for 12 months after finishing their degree to find employment.

With the ‘stay-back option’ doubled, there will be more of an incentive for companies looking to hire international students. Students on the scheme can work full-time up to 40 hours a week and apply for their Green Card after two years.

This is presumably part of the Government’s international education strategy, which promises to boost the revenue from international education from €1.5bn to €2.1bn by 2020, and set a 15pc target for international students at tertiary level.

Giving international students 24 months after obtaining their master’s or PhD could go a long way towards narrowing the skills gap, particularly in the tech sector.

The scheme could also bring more international employees into the Irish workforce, tackling the diversity issue across the board.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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