Business Irish

Monday 22 September 2014

Google gets most foreign work permits to fill jobs

Intel already has twice as many permits as it got in 2013

Published 24/08/2014 | 02:30

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IN DEMAND: Google got most foreign worker permits Photo: Ronan Lang
IN DEMAND: Google got most foreign worker permits Photo: Ronan Lang

The number of work permits being dished out to foreign workers has shot up this year as top employers seek to plug the massive skills shortage in the country.

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The Government issued 3,278 work permits to non-nationals in the first seven months of this year - about 50pc more than it did over the same months last year.

The internet giant, Google, which has spent €2.7bn in Ireland, emerged as the private employer to grab the lion's share of those permits. It has received 133 work permits so far this year. Intel also grabbed a large chunk of the permits, with 125 issued to the US multi-national. This is almost twice the number issued to Intel for the entire of 2013. The IT outsourcer, Tata Consultancy, received 111 permits.

"A lot of the work permits issued tend to be in the ICT industry," said Edwina Shanahan, marketing manager with Visa First, which organises work permits for Irish companies. "In Dublin, there's a high demand for skilled IT people with ten years experience or more. A lot of the higher-skilled Irish professionals who had that kind of IT experience left the country during the downturn so there's a bit of brain drain here. Employers here are recruiting for specific skill sets and if the people here are not of the skill level they need, they are recruiting overseas."

A pick-up in the Irish jobs market has also fuelled the increase in the number of permits being issued - although the recovery is largely happening in Dublin, according to Shanahan.

"Things have definitely picked up in the Dublin jobs market and Cork is quite busy too," said Shanahan. "But there are still a lot of people out of work in Waterford and Limerick."

Dublin-based foreign workers received more than half of the permits issued so far this year. Kildare received the second-highest number of permits followed by Cork. Leitrim, Longford and Carlow fared worst.

As more than a third of the permits dished out so far this year were to Indians, this country had most luck when applying for Irish work permits. The United States fared well too, securing about one in eight permits.

South Africans were the most likely to be turned down - more than half of the 52 workers there who applied for an Irish permit this year were refused one. Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Malaysia and Mauritius also had a high refusal rate.

The HSE secured the highest number of work permits so far this year, receiving 556 permits.

This is more than five times the number of permits issued to the HSE in the whole of 2013.

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