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Labour Migration in Ireland : Overview of trends and recent policy changes. The Irish National Contact Point of the European Migration Network is funded by the European Commission and the Irish Department of Justice and Law Reform.

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labour migration in ireland overview of trends and recent policy changes

Labour Migration in Ireland: Overview of trends and recent policy changes

The Irish National Contact Point of the European Migration Network is funded by the European Commission and the Irish Department of Justice and Law Reform.

slide2
Overview of trends in migration and immigrant employment in Ireland
  • Labour migration policy and non-EU employment permits system
  • Migrant workers and the crisis
  • Features of immigrant labour market experience in Ireland
trends in migration 1987 2010
Trends in Migration 1987-2010

Central Statistics Office, Population and Migration Estimates

immigration by national group 2000 2010
Immigration by National Group 2000-2010

Central Statistics Office, Population and Migration Estimates

non irish nationals in employment 2004 2010
Non-Irish Nationals in Employment 2004-2010

Source: Central Statistics Office: QNHS

occupational skill groups of non irish in employment
Occupational Skill Groups of Non-Irish in Employment

Source: QNHS, 2004:Q3; 2005-2010:Q2 Calendarised data

occupational skill groups of non irish in employment7
Occupational Skill Groups of Non-Irish in Employment

Source: QNHS, 2004:Q3; 2005-2010:Q2 Calendarised data

slovakian nationals working in ireland 1
Slovakian Nationals Working in Ireland 1

Department of Social Protection

development of irish labour migration policy
Development of Irish Labour Migration Policy
  • Prior to early 2000s little management of economic migration
  • Work visa/ authorisation programme introduced in 2000
  • Work permit allocations increased x7 between 1999-2003 to peak at 47,500 in 2003. Mainly low skilled occupations
  • From 2002 state sought to exercise some control of work permit allocations. Labour market needs test introduced. ‘Ineligible Occupation Sectors’. Employment Permits Act 2003
  • State started pursuing the now well established policy of sourcing all but highly-skilled and/or scarce labour from within the EU
  • EU Enlargement 2004. EU10 nationals granted full access to the Irish labour market
development of irish labour migration policy11
Development of Irish Labour Migration Policy
  • Unprecedented rates of migration 2004-2007
  • State became increasingly active regarding management of non-EU labour migration
  • Restrictions on non EU students’ access to labour market in 2004
  • Employment Permits Act 2006
    • Further restrictions on lower-skilled work permit allocations
    • Introduced Green Card to attract highly-skilled non-EU workers
  • Work permit requirement for Romanian and Bulgarian nationals following accession in 2007
non eu employment permits system
Non-EU Employment Permits System
  • Employer-led system
    • State licenses arrangement between employer and potential migrant worker after job offer has been made
  • Controls that may be exercised by state include application of Labour market needs test, list of occupations ineligible for permits
  • Identifying Shortages: Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, National Skills Database
  • National Skills Bulletin 2010: No labour shortages and only limited skills shortages exist
recent adjustments to non eu employment permits system
Recent Adjustments to non-EU Employment Permits System
  • Reduction in occupations eligible for green cards in <€60,000 category (quantity surveyors, building managers, and engineers and architects)
  • Extension of list of occupations ineligible for new work permit including childcare workers; hotel tourism and catering workers
  • Labour market needs test extended
  • Increased processing fees for new work permit applications
  • Restrictions on spousal permits
  • Proposed reform of student immigration regime
recent adjustments to immigration system
Recent Adjustments to Immigration System
  • Redundant employment permit holders scheme
  • Administrative long term residency scheme extended to workers made redundant after 5 years
  • Undocumented workers scheme
  • Third level graduate scheme
slide18

Unemployment Rates by Nationality

Alan Barrett and Elish Kelly (2010) “The Impact of Ireland’s Recession on the Labour Market Outcomes of its Immigrants.” ESRI Working Paper

slide19

Annual Percentage Change in Employment

Q3 2009 annual rate of employment loss: Non-Irish nationals almost 20%. Nationals 7%

slide20

Employment Loss by Sector, Q1 2008 to Q4 2009

Key point: loss of employment for non-Irish not solely related to an over-concentration in construction.

Barrett and Kelly, 2010

slide21

How was the employment loss among non-Irish nationals distributed across unemployment, inactive and out-migration? Q1 2008-Q4 2009

Barrett and Kelly, 2010

some features of immigrant labour market experience in ireland
Some Features of Immigrant Labour Market Experience in Ireland
  • Immigrant earnings disadvantage of 18% relative to comparable natives, on average (Barrett and McCarthy, 2007)
    • For EU10 nationals, the disadvantage was 45%; larger than for any other group
  • Lower occupational attainment: EU10 nationals about 20% less likely to be in higher-skilled jobs relative to comparable Irish nationals (Barrett and Duffy, 2008)
  • Some evidence of labour market discrimination:
    • Field experiment found that candidates with Irish-sounding names more than twice as likely to be called to interview than those with African/Asian/German names. McGinnity et al (2009)
  • Not all negative! EU10/12 workers making informed choice. Relatively low incidence of racism
integration policy
Integration Policy

Integration policy development (as applies to all migrants rather than only refugees) relatively recent;

Office of the Minister for Integration established in 2007; First policy statement 2008, Migration Nation :

Two-way process

Partnership approach between government and NGOs

Strong link between integration policy and social inclusion measures

Mainstreaming approach to service delivery to migrants

Commitment to effective local delivery

Budget of OMI cut in 2010, likely to be reduced further.

main emerging issues
Main Emerging Issues

Ireland’s recession appears to have impacted severely upon its immigrant population and the most severe impact appears to have been for the EU10/12

Recent employment fall has coincided with an outflow (Barrett and Kelly, 2010)

Increasing unemployment means issuing employment permits to non-EU workers potentially problematic, especially in lower salary bands (spousal permits). Little evidence of serious unrest in this regard

Challenge for policymakers of finding balance between limiting further labour migration and integration of workers already here

Ireland has opted out of Long Term Residence Directive and Blue Card Directive. Delays in enacting the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2010. Long-term residence not yet a statutory status