Work visa breakthrough will boost IT sector with overseas talent
Success in reducing the approval process for work permit applications will make it easier for skilled workers from outside the EU to work at Irish-based ICT firms

Work visa breakthrough will boost IT sector with overseas talent

31 Aug 2011

The Irish Government has moved to speed up the visa validation process for applicants from countries like India and this could turn out to be welcome boon for the ICT sector, resulting in greater access to developers with Java and .Net skills.

Work permit processing times are understood to have been reduced from 10 weeks to just three weeks.

There are at present 5,000 job vacancies in Irish IT companies, with high demand for experienced software developers in particular. Major companies including Google, Zynga, Microsoft, Intel, LinkedIn, PayPal and many others are currently recruiting in Ireland.

It is understood that there has been a change in the dynamic of the IT recruitment marketplace recently as large corporations look overseas for candidates they are unable to source in Ireland.

“The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is processing applications far quicker and is handling the backlog,” explained James Milligan, a senior director with Hays Recruiting.

Milligan explained that until recently firms that offered jobs to skilled workers from outside the EU struggled with an onerous backlog and this was having an impact on their ability to do business.

“There is a gap in the Irish market for candidates with 2-5 years Java and .net experience and as contracts start to ramp up and these organisations win new business they are being forced to look outside of Ireland to source the talent they require to grow their businesses.

New willingness to consider non-Irish candidates

“At Hays we have seen over 100 positions registered that require these skill sets over the last eight weeks and a new willingness to consider non-Irish candidates with the plum target markets being the financially stricken countries of Spain and Portugal and the highly skilled talent pools of Holland, Poland and India.

“India has been of particular interest to these companies as the depth of the talent pool is second only to Silicon Valley.”

Milligan said that Ireland is an excellent value proposition for Indian candidates as they seek to work in an English speaking environment.

“The new government has had done an outstanding job in speeding up the work permit application process with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation bringing processing times down from 10-12 weeks to 3 weeks since the turn of the year, meaning that organisations can onboard these skills quickly,” he 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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