Work permits for IT sector to rise
on 11/02/2013 00:00:00
He said it has been shown that there is a "significant shortage" of skilled employees in that sector. A spokesman for his department said there was also a "global shortage of skilled workers in the ICT sector".
"The department is continuously examining ways in which our employment permits regime can be improved so as to ensure that Ireland remains competitive in attracting investments and jobs from companies in the sector," the spokesman said. "A number of proposals are currently being developed, details will be announced in due course."
There has been a dramatic decline in the number of work permits being issued.
There were 15,892 applications for new permits or renewal of permits in 2008. Of that total, 13,328 were successful.
By 2012, the number of applications was 5,075. Of those, 4,004 were issued.
Mr Bruton said the decline was "in line with economic conditions and the narrowing of eligible job categories and sectors where it was considered that a sufficient supply of labour exists".
He said government policy is to issue employment permits for the employment of non-EEA nationals for "specific vacancies and in response to employer demand for strategic skills and labour shortages in designated occupations in key economic sectors such as healthcare, information technology and financial services".
In 2006, Google, which has its European headquarters in Dublin, was granted 49 work permits for non-nationals to work in Ireland. By 2011, that had risen to 149.
A recent survey by the Higher Education Authority found that 36% of employers questioned had gone overseas to source graduates. Many blamed an insufficient number of Irish graduates, particularly in computing, as the main reason.
Another reason highlighted by employers for not hiring Irish workers is the low level of knowledge of a second language.