Employment: Government Invites Submissions From Employers on Skills and Labour Shortages in Their Sector

18 June 2019

To ensure that the employment permit system is responsive to changes in economic circumstances and labour market conditions, the system is managed through the operation of two occupations lists. The Critical Skills Occupations List for in-demand roles and the Ineligible Occupations List for jobs which are easily filled by EEA nationals.

Twice a year the system undergoes an evidence-based review by the Government to establish what skills are needed from outside the EEA. It is based on labour market conditions and submissions from sectors and other stakeholders, together with other contextual factors (e.g. planned expansions in sectors, if known). On 31 May 2019, Minister for Business Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD announced the commencement of mid-year review of the occupations lists.

Previous review

Frequent readers of our articles will recall that on 22 April 2019 changes for occupations in the construction and transport sectors were made. These included occupations such as civil engineer and quantity surveyor being added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and occupations such as sheet metal worker, pipefitter and crane driver being removed from the Ineligible Occupations List. These changes were as a result of previous reviews by Government. 


The rationale underpinning the inclusion or omission from the lists of any particular occupation is driven by skills demands in the economy. It is based on research undertaken by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs plus labour market intelligence, input by relevant government departments, education outputs, sectoral up-skilling and training initiatives and any known contextual factors.


Stakeholder submissions are considered a vital source of information for these bi-annual reviews. The industry is urged to engage with the process to ensure that the employment permit system remains flexible and allows the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to meet skills and labour shortages in real-time.

The closing date for the public consultation is Friday, 12 July 2019 and submissions are made online using the public consultation submission form. They 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 is put to the Minister.


It is vital that the employment permits scheme is responsive to changes in economic circumstances and labour market conditions. Therefore it is necessary to review the highly skilled and ineligible lists on a regular basis, in accordance with the changing needs of the labour market. The latest review of the occupations list has commenced with a call for submissions for the public consultation meaning that evidence-based cases from interested parties may be prepared and submitted.

For more information on how you can make a submission or for any queries related to employment permits, contact a member of our Employment Law and Benefits or Business Immigration teams. 

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

Discuss your employment law queries now with Katie McDermott.

  • LinkedIn