The State's general policy is to promote the sourcing of labour and skills needs from within the workforce of the State and other EEA states. Where specific skills prove difficult to source within the State and EEA, the employment permits system offers a conduit into the Irish labour market for non-EEA nationals with in-demand skills and is operated as a vacancy led system.
Ireland operates a managed employment permit system through occupation lists, namley the critical skills and ineligible occuaptions lists, which are reviewed twice yearly. This is an evidence based process that takes account of labour market conditions and submisison from sectors and other stakeholders together with contextual factors. The purpose is to maximise the benefits of economic migration while minimising the risk of disrupting the Irish labour market.
Since March 2018, all chef grades with experience, with the exception of commis chefs, have been eligible for an employment permit, today I have removed the commis chef grade, with two years’ experience, from the ineligible list, thereby extending eligibility for all chefs grades to the system.
Chefs account for the highest number of vacancies in the hospitality sector and the shortage of commis chefs is feeding into shortages at higher and specialist levels, this announcement today will ensure that the capacity gap in filled in the short-term through the employment permit system.
Taking into account the pressures on the sector, I have decided that the occupation of chef will no longer be subject to a quota, previously there was a quota of 610. This change will be kept under regular review to ensure that there are no adverse effects on the labour market opportunities for those in the industry within Ireland and across the EEA and those exiting training programmes seeking employment in the sector.
In addition, the current cap of two permits per establishment is no longer applicable.