Strong demand from dairy sector for non-EU work permits
Just one work permit remains from the 50 issued to the dairy sector last year for non-EU workers.
In May 2018, a pilot scheme of employment permit quotas for dairy farm assistants, horticulture workers and meat processing operatives was put in place.
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It included a new minimum payment threshold of €22,000 and obligations on employee welfare, accommodation and language training.
There has also been a strong take-up of the permits by meat processors with 1,339 permits issued from a 1,500 allocation.
However, just 91 permits have been issued from the quota of 500 for the horticulture sector.
he Minister said these quotas were provided following a comprehensive review of data and evidence available and the submission of a business case by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on behalf of the sector.
The quotas are specific to each occupation mentioned and are not transferable to any other occupation.
Calls have been made for permits to be issued to workers on pig farms. However, the role of Pig Farmer is currently on the Ineligible Occupations List.