New work permit law designed to make Ireland ‘internet capital of Europe’
The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin

New work permit law designed to make Ireland ‘internet capital of Europe’

23 Apr 2014

The Irish Government has signed a new bill that when enacted will scrap the existing ‘green card’ scheme and put in place a new system that will make it easier for overseas, skilled workers and their families to work and live in Ireland.

Designed to meet demand for workers with critical skills in areas such as ICT, the new law to reform the work permit scheme is part of a broader plan to make Ireland the “internet capital of Europe.”

The move is also part of the ICT Skills Action Plan to increase the number of skilled ICT graduates available in Ireland through the education system.

The law, it is envisaged, will lead to a 58pc reduction in the processing time for employment permits and improve the appeals process.

The law will also broaden the range of eligible occupations for a work permit in Ireland.

Ultimately, the law will provide investors and indigenous employers greater certainty to make investment decisions and improve HR decision-making and alleviate the pressure caused by the ICT skills shortage.

Flexible and transparent

“The ICT sector is a central part of our Action Plan for Jobs, and since taking office we have put in place a range of measures to support accelerated job creation in this area,” the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton said.

“Skills is key to this, as one of the biggest issues faced by businesses considering creating jobs in this sector is the availability of skilled graduates to do the work needed.

“Working closely with Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn, we have delivered substantial improvements in the past three years, and this has made a major contribution to the overall increase in the numbers of people at work in this area.  

“Under the most recent ICT Action Plan, at least three out of four vacancies in the ICT sector will be filled by graduates from Irish colleges – this is a major leap forward from the 45pc that prevailed in 2011.

“The legislation we are publishing today will make a major contribution to the overall reforms we are delivering in the employment permits area. It codifies and clarifies the law in this area to make the system more transparent and obligations clearer to businesses and other stakeholders.

“It also makes the system more flexible and responsive to changing economic circumstances, so that our employment permits system can respond quickly and allow our economy to benefit from quickly emerging opportunities,” Bruton said.

The proposed law will also address deficiencies in legislation discovered through the Muhammad Younis case. This was a case where an illegal worker was exploited by his employer because he lacked a work permit.

“When this case first emerged I was appalled at its facts and pledged to move to remedy the law in this area – this legislation will deliver on this pledge,” Bruton said.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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