Minister Humphreys opens Review of the Employment Permits System

31st May Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD today announced the commencement of a mid-year Review of the Occupation Lists for employment permits for workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). The lists are reviewed twice a year.


Minister Humphreys said:


“Today I am opening a public consultation on Ireland’s employment permits system. This is an opportunity for sector representative bodies and employers to provide enterprise perspectives on skills and labour shortages in their sector.


It follows my recent announcement of the outcome of the previous review. Arising from this, I approved changes for occupations in the construction, transport and sports sectors.


“The regular review process ensures that the employment permits system remains flexible. It allows us to meet skills and labour shortages in real-time.”


Ireland operates a managed employment permit system, which maximises the benefits of economic migration while minimising the risk of disrupting the Irish labour market.


To ensure that the employment permits system is responsive to changes in economic circumstances and labour market conditions, the system is managed through the operation of occupation lists. The lists fall into two categories – the first for in-demand occupations, the ‘Critical Skills Occupations List’, and the second for ineligible occupations, the ‘Ineligible Occupations List’, where a ready source of labour is already available from within Ireland and the EEA.


The review process is evidenced-based. It involves detailed consideration of the annual National Skills Bulletin and the Vacancy Overview Report, along with research undertaken by the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs, Solas, input from Government Departments and Agencies and a public consultation.


In addition, account is taken of the views of the relevant lead policy Department on the submissions for changes to the lists.


The Minister concluded:


“Stakeholder submissions are a vital source of information for these twice-yearly reviews. They make a hugely important contribution to the final assessment, so I would urge industry to once again engage with the process.”


The closing date for the public consultation is Friday 12th July 2019.

Submissions should be submitted online using the public consultation submission form to:


Call for Submissions to the Review of the Occupations List for Employment Permits


Submissions to the review are considered by the Economic Migration Policy Interdepartmental Group chaired by officials in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Following the review process, a recommendation will be brought to the Minister.