Work permits increase reflects shortage in skills

So far this year 37 work permits have been issued to people in Co Louth, in what experts are describing as increases based on an overall lack of skills in IT and technology.

So far this year 37 work permits have been issued to people in Co Louth, in what experts are describing as increases based on an overall lack of skills in IT and technology.

New figures show that the trend in Louth and in the country as a whole, has been towards an influx of high skilled workers, expecially in the area of IT and technology.

Dundalk in particular has seen massive growth in IT and technology sector in the last two years, with Satir, Prometric, Paypal and other multinationals now calling the town home.

According to Edwina Shanahan, Manager with www.visafirst.com , “Year to date there have been 37 work permits issued to companies in Louth. By the end of last year this figure had reached 73. While these permits were granted to fill employment vacancies across a number of industries the IT sector is one which has seen the highest increase in demand of late. There has been unprecedented demand from the IT industry demanding skilled staff and permits for non- nationals as the skill level required is just not available here in Ireland at the moment. Companies in the IT sector have announced over 1500 vacancies this year that have yet to be filled and our own experience is that in a large number of cases the employer ends up having to look overseas”.

In 2006 IT giant Google was granted 49 work permits for non-nationals to work in Ireland but by 2011 this had risen to 149. Migration experts www.visafirst.com say that Google is just one of a number of IT multinationals based throughout the country that have encountered a skills shortage in Ireland of late & has had to go overseas to source staff with the skills necessary for their various vacancies in IT specialist roles.

Edwina continued, “As evidenced by the chart, IT companies in Ireland have experienced a constant & growing demand for highly skilled IT professionals. There are a number of options available to an employer in the ICT sector who wants to employ someone in Ireland who is not a member of the EU labour force. The figures from the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment in relation to work permits granted in Louth also highlight the services industry as having a significant demand for overseas workers also”.