Ireland Is Looking for Foreign Workers to Fill in These Jobs: List

Labour shortage has hit Europe worse than ever following the Coronavirus pandemic, and Ireland is no exception.

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The country is listed amongst the other European Union Member States with an unemployment rate lower than five per cent at 4.2 per cent, alongside Hungary (3.5 per cent), the Netherlands (3.6 per cent), Slovenia (4.2 per cent), Luxembourg (4.3 per cent), Austria (4.6 per cent), Bulgaria (4.6 per cent) and Denmark (4.6 per cent).

Yet, even if those people grouped in that 4.2 per cent in Ireland went into the labour market, they would not be able to meet the country’s need for workers, in particular, the need for skilled ones.

In order to tackle this challenge, like every other country in the EU, Ireland is also working to lure skilled and bright workers from around the globe, in particular those experienced in the fields in which Ireland is facing a serious labour shortage.

In order to take in the workers it needs most, Ireland has created a “Critical Skills Occupations List” based on which foreign workers can apply to move to Ireland and get a job there in the occupation that they are skilled in.

The list currently includes around 90 job titles, and for each of them, at least hundreds of workers are required to satisfy the needs of Ireland’s labour market.

Thousands of Open Positions in Health Sector as Ireland’s Population Ages

old hands
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Amongst the sectors that are facing the most challenges to fill in vacant positions is that of health, with the Department of Health and the Health Service Executive (HSE) being the main employers in search of skilled health workers.

The number of needed workers in the health service is expected to grow even more in the following years due to Ireland’s ageing population, as the country will count more retired people who will need health workers to take care of them.

According to a report prepared by the Institute of Public Health on the ageing population in Ireland and Northern Ireland, by 2051, there will be more than 2.1 million people aged 65 and older on the island.

Whereas the number of those older than 85 will increase to over 400,000, as the island expects the life expectancy to increase to over 88 years old for women and 85 years old for men.

One in 20 people on the island of Ireland will be aged 85+ by midcentury,” the report says.

Currently, Ireland has a population of a little over five million, whereas Northern Ireland counts almost two million citizens.

The ageing population will also see a high number of skilled workers leaving the labour market, which the younger generations will not be able to fill in without migration.

As a result, Ireland has included in its Critical Skills Occupations List the following positions:

  • Health Professionals – medical practitioners, psychologists, industrial pharmacists/pharmacists, radiographers, radiation therapists, vascular technologists/physiologists, gastro intestinal technologists/physiologists, podiatrists/chiropodists, audiologists, perfusionists, dieticians and cardiac physiologists.
  • Therapy Professionals – physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, and orthoptists.
  • Nursing and Midwifery Professionals – registered nurses and registered midwives.
  • Health Associate Professionals – Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council (PHECC) registered paramedics, PHECC registered advanced paramedic practitioners, prosthetists, orthotists, and respiratory physiologists.

Since September 1, in order to enable more foreign doctors to move to Ireland for work, the authorities have decided to permit non-EEA doctors already in the State for 21 months or more with a General Employment Permit to apply for a new permission granting them the right to work without a permit.

Jobs Open in the Business & Finance in Ireland

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Jobs in business and finance are among the top four most common which remain open and unfilled for a long time in Ireland, due to which the Irish authorities have seen it essential to include such jobs in the Critical Skills Occupations List.

According to a report published earlier this year by, employment growth in business and finance has been above the national average for the past five years, while government data show that the main employers in this sector include the Bank of Ireland, the Central Bank of Ireland, Bank of America, the AIB Group, Citi, Davy, PWC, Deloitte, Accenture and KPMG.

The Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment has included in the Critical Skills Occupations List the following jobs under the employment category of Business, Research and Administrative Professionals:

  • Chartered and certified accountants and taxation experts who are specialised in tax, compliance, regulation, solvency or financial management or related and who have the relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience.
  • Qualified accountants with a minimal auditing experience of three years. The same should be full members of one of the following:
    • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
    • Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA)
    • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)
  • Tax consultant specialising in non-EEA tax consultancy and compliance with a professional tax qualification or legal qualification with tax specialisation. The same should have at least three years of experience in tax consultancy requirements and regulations in the relevant non-EEA market.

Included in this group of occupations are also management consultants and business analysts, business and financial project management professionals, actuaries, economists and statisticians.

The occupations listed in the previous sentence are open only for those who specialise in big data analytics and are skilled in IT, data mining, modelling, and advanced math or related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience.

The Critical Skills Occupations List also includes two jobs in the list of Sales, Marketing and Related Associate Professionals. First is the Business sales executives specialising in International Sales Roles or ITB2B sales roles and who are fluent in the official language, aside from English, of a state which is not a European Economic Area Member State.

Whereas the second position is that of international marketing experts who have domain knowledge specialising in product strategy development and management with technical and product/service knowledge like pharmaceutical, medical devices, Software B2B, SaaS products, etc.

Schools & Universities Dealing With a Lack of Teachers & Academic Staff

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Another critical sector in need of workers is that of education. Schools and universities in Ireland are facing every day and more staff shortages as they fail to fill in the open positions.

A report published earlier in April this year by RedC on behalf of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) shows that 55 per cent of high school principals have reported unfilled vacancies in March this year.

At the same time, as many as 84 per cent of the principals claim that they had experienced situations when no one applied for an open teacher position in the academic year 2021/2022.

While the survey claims that one of the reasons there are not enough teachers is also the low pay for this profession in the country, the authorities are trying to fill in the gaps by hiring foreign workers.

Currently, under the Critical Skills Occupations List for Teaching and Educational Professionals is listed the position of academics who have a qualification equivalent to Level 10 of the National Framework of Qualification in a given discipline that has been awarded no less than two calendar years before the date of application for an employment permit.

The person applying for this job position must have a minimum of one year of academic teaching experience, and the employment concerned is in a third-level institution which is governed by the Irish Universities Act 1997 (No. 24 of 1997), the Institutes of Technology Act 2006 (No. 25 of 2006) and the Technological Universities Act 2018 (No. 3 of 2018).

If the latter condition is not fulfilled, then the applicant can also be approved if the teaching job includes delivering a programme largely or entirely concerned with information and communications technology, which leads to a major award at QQI level eight and/or level nine as validated by Quality and Qualifications Ireland.

STEM Companies Having Difficulty Recruiting Staff in IT & Engineering

Worker in EU
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Over a year ago, Ireland’s Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, warned that the country could be facing severe skills shortages within the STEM sector, pointing out the need to solve this issue in the post-pandemic recovery of the country.

It is vital as we seek to rebuild post-pandemic that people are retrained and reskilled in areas where there are skills shortages or in areas where there will be economic growth,” he had noted at the time.

According to research by Solas, which is a state agency tasked with building a world-class Further Education and Training (FET) in Ireland, published last summer, over half of the science, engineering and technology companies are facing challenges in recruiting software developers, designers, engineers and technical support staff.

The research also pointed out that one-third of the recruiters in the construction industry were finding it difficult to hire quantity surveyors, civil engineers, site engineers, scaffolders and pipe layers.

As a result, since July this year, all of the following Engineering Professionals have been included in the Critical Skills Occupations List – Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers and Site Engineers, Mechanical engineers, Electrical engineers, Material scientists, Setting Out Engineer, Façade Designer, as well as:

  • Electronics engineers, design and development engineers, as well as production and process engineers, specialising in process automation engineering, or power generation, transmission and distribution, or specialist skills, qualifications or experience that are related or relevant to these.
  • Electronics engineers and Design and development engineers, specialising in chip design, test engineering, and application engineering.
  • Design and development engineers as well as production and process engineers, specialising in the control of quality, or validation and regulation engineering on sectors like the high tech industry, food and beverages.
  • Production and process engineers, specialising in chemical process engineering.

The occupations included in the Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals are IT specialist managers, IT project and programme managers, IT business analysts, architects and systems designers, programmers and software development professionals, web design and development professionals, and all other ICT professionals not elsewhere classified.

Whereas in the occupations under the category of Architects, Town Planners and Surveyors are listed architects, quantity surveyors, architectural technologists, as well as construction project managers.

At the same time, in the Quality and Regulatory Professionals group are listed as wanted quality control and planning engineers, quality assurance and regulatory professionals, as well as environmental health professionals.

Design Occupations listed as Critical Skills Occupations are location designers, character designers, prop designers, and animation layout artists. All of them are required for work done in 2D or 3D animation, with at least one year of experience in the role they are applying for an employment permit for.

Other Occupations for Which Ireland Needs Foreign Workers to Fill in Vacant Jobs

Natural and Social Science Professionals

  • Chemical scientists in manufacturing (including food, beverages and medical devices), product development, analytical development, clinical co-vigilance, or biotechnology or related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience
  • Scientists of medical laboratory
  • Biological scientists and biochemists in manufacturing, including food and beverages and medical devices, as well as product development, analytical development, clinical co-vigilance, or biotechnology or related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience.
  • Physical scientists in manufacturing, also including food and beverages and medical devices, product development, analytical development, clinical co-vigilance, or biotechnology or related and relevant specialist skills, qualifications or experience.

Sports and Fitness Occupations – High-performance coaches and directors employed by:

  • National sports organisations, or
  • High-profile sports organisations engaging in international competition

Welfare Professionals – Social Worker

Media Professionals – Art Director in 2D or 3D animation, with at least one year’s experience in the role

Production Managers and Directors – Site Manager

ICT Professionals – Information technology and telecommunications directors

Health and Social Services Managers and Directors – Senior health services and public health managers and directors

Artistic, Literary and Media Occupations – Animation Background and Design Artist in 2D or 3D animation, with at least one year of experience in the role.

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