The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, has signed off on changes to Employment Permit Regulations which will make it easier for businesses in the hospitality and animation sectors to source workers from outside the EEA.
Announcing the changes, Minister Humphreys said:
“Following a review of the Highly Skilled and Ineligible lists of Employment earlier this year, which included a public consultation, I am today announcing the removal of certain chef grades from the ineligible occupation list. This means that if an employer is unsuccessful in filling a vacancy either domestically or from across the European Economic Area (EEA) it can be filled by a suitably qualified non- EEA national.
“My decision to remove certain chef grades from the ineligible lists will ensure that there is a mechanism to address the shortage of qualified chefs in the short-term. I have applied a quota to ensure that in the longer term the demand for chefs is met from a steady supply in the Irish labour market and to that end I am aware of the work that is underway to increase the supply of chefs through training initiatives such as the development of a new Commis Chef Apprenticeship and a Chef de Partie Apprenticeship.”
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin T.D. in welcoming the measure said ““The tourism and hospitality industry is of vital importance to the national economy, with tourists spending €7.2 billion in Ireland and supporting employment of an estimated 235,000 people. Today’s announcement is one of a number of initiatives to address future skills shortages and to sustain continued growth and employment in the industry. I am confident that this measure along with the suite of culinary apprenticeships will have a positive impact for the industry.”
In addition, Minister Humphreys has also agreed to add a number of employments in animation to the highly skilled list.
The Minister stated “The Irish animation industry has emerged as a central component of Ireland’s digital and creative economy. However, the lack of available experienced highly skilled animation professionals limits the sector’s continued growth and expansion. To this end I have added highly skilled and design oriented employments in animation to the highly skilled list. By setting the periods of experience I am ensuring the entry route to the profession by Irish/EEA graduates is maintained.
“It is also imperative that the employment permits system remains correctly oriented to meet the State’s emerging labour market needs, be they labour or skills shortages. Consequently, my Department is undertaking a review of our economic migration policy. I have established an Inter Departmental Group to steer the review and have requested that it report to me by the end of June 2018.”