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 subject to the Employment Permits Acts and Regulations. The employment permits system is managed in part through the operation of the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List (HSEOL) and Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL) for the purposes of granting an employment permit
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, the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (Solas) 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.
A review of the lists of occupations for employment permits is currently being finalised with a further review to take place in the second half of the year. Barbers are currently included on the Ineligible Categories of Employment List (ICEL). In order to remove a skill from this list, there would need to be a clear demonstration that recruitment difficulties are solely due to shortages across the EEA and not to other factors such as salary and/or employment conditions. Organisations in the sector would need to provide the necessary data to substantiate their claims. A detailed evidence-based case for removal of barbers from the ineligible list, based on this detailed data would then need to be put forward, to my Department for review and consideration by a standing Interdepartmental Group.