Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Questions (143)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

143. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to remove career advisers and vocational guidance specialists (details supplied) from the ineligible categories of employment for employment permits list in view of the severe shortage of guidance counsellors here and in further view of the fact that many persons that have studied for the profession here are only eligible to work here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27049/18]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

At my request, my Department is currently conducting a review of economic migration policies underpinning the current employment permits system to ensure that our policies are fully supportive of Ireland’s emerging labour market needs, be they skills or labour shortages in certain sectors.  A full report on the review is due by end June.  Following on from that Report, it is expected that a review of the Lists of Occupations for Employment Permits will be conducted in the second half of this year. 

Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the State and wider EEA, an employment permit may be sought by an employer to hire a non-EEA national.  The employment permits system is managed in part through the operation of the highly skilled and ineligible lists for the purpose of grant of employment permits.  At present, ‘Career Adviser/Guidance Counsellor' are listed on the Ineligible List of Occupations (ICEL) for employment permits. 

Changes to access to the Irish labour market for specific occupations via the employment permits system are made on the basis of research undertaken by the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs and, coordinated by the National Skills Council, the annual National Skills Bulletin and the annual Vacancy Overview Report in tandem with a public consultation process.  The recently published Vacancy Overview Report indicates that despite recent employment growth, vacancy notifications for this sector remain limited to a small number of roles such as lecturers, TEFL teachers and instructors/trainers.

In order to consider removing an occupation from the ICEL, organisations in the sector should engage with the relevant lead Department, the Department of Education and Skills with regard to this matter, in the preparation of a detailed business case setting out the necessary data to substantiate a case for removal from the ICEL.