Saturday 15 December 2018

Over 3,000 apply for 200 jobs in customs

Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke
Fianna Fáil finance spokesman Michael McGrath. Photo: Tom Burke

Anne-Marie Walsh

More than 3,000 people have applied for jobs as Brexit customs officials.

But the Government plans to hire just 200 by the deadline next spring.

The Public Appointments Service confirmed it received 3,031 applications following a competition for customs clerical officers based in Dublin, Wexford and Cork, which closed last month.

Revenue estimates an extra 600 staff will be needed based on a transition period and future EU-UK trade deal. However, just 200 will be trained and in place by March 29.

Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath urged the Government to take advantage of the strong interest in the jobs to plan for a worst-case scenario.

"I'm not surprised there is strong interest in these positions and I think Revenue should take the opportunity afforded by the high number of applications to recruit the number it needs," he said.

Transition

"A transition period and future trade agreement is the most benign scenario that could emerge. Clearly, in a less favourable scenario, such as the nightmare of a hard Brexit, they will be woefully under-resourced by March 29."

He said the Finance Committee will invite Revenue in next month to discuss its needs.

A Revenue spokesperson indicated the numbers could rise. "In July 2018, the Government also agreed to continue contingency planning for the unlikely place of a 'no-deal' Brexit," she said.

"This planning is at an advanced stage. Some elements will not be published as negotiations between the EU and the UK for an agreed Brexit are ongoing."

Irish Independent

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