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Role of Migration in Meeting Ireland's Skills Needs. Trinity Immigration Initiative: Migration Research Fair 24 September 2007 Martin Shanahan. Background: Ireland’s Migration Story. Flow of Immigrants…. Non Irish National Population in Ireland, 2006. Immigration Likely to Continue.

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role of migration in meeting ireland s skills needs

Role of Migration in Meeting Ireland's Skills Needs

Trinity Immigration Initiative: Migration Research Fair24 September 2007Martin Shanahan

labour force in 2020 will be made up of

Immigration Likely to Continue

Labour force in 2020 will be made up of


From the current labour force of 2m


Labour force



New flow of young people from the education system



Increased participation & Migration


EGFSN Migration Research

Three elements to the EGFSN work

  • Identification of Skills Gaps
  • Potential to fill skills gaps from within the EEA Region based on

push and pull factors; analysis of labour markets in other relevant countries

    • Labour Availability
    • Labour Ability
    • Labour Mobility
  • Advise onModel to facilitate economic migration and procedural options

based on findings of report, other countries’ practices and consultations

skills and labour shortages identified 2007
Skills and Labour Shortages Identified (2007)
  • Shortages currently exist within the Irish labour market. These shortages can be broadly characterised as skill shortages and labour shortages.

These include:

  • Engineering occupations
  • IT Professions
  • Financial Professions
  • Healthcare Professions
key findings from research
Key Findings From Research
  • Ireland up to 2004 operated a relatively open and ‘laissez faire’ system of economic migration compared to its European counterparts.
  • Managed economic migration is of benefit to the Irish Economy.
  • In general, a sufficient pool of potential migrant labour exists within the EEA to meet Ireland’s skills requirements at the lower end of the skills continuum.
  • The 10 new EU accession countries offer the best potential for Ireland in attracting labour at the lower end of the skills continuum.
  • The pool of labour available from within the EEA region which is likely to migrate to Ireland contracts significantly at the higher end of the skills continuum.
more key findings
More Key Findings
  • Within the EEA, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the UK offer the best opportunity for attracting graduate labour.
  • All of Ireland’s high skilled migration needs are unlikely to be filled from within the EEA.
  • The attractiveness of Ireland to potential migrants in specific sectors varies significantly from country to country.
some underpinning principles
Some Underpinning Principles
  • Ireland’s economic migration policy has to be addressed in a context relative to our overall population size and the free movement of labour from within the EEA region.
  • There is a social impact and cost resulting from economic migration which economic policy makers and enterprise should be cognisant of.
  • Migration alone is not a sustainable long term solution to skills shortages.
  • Economic migration does not have an observable effect on GDP per capita but does impact on the distribution of income.
  • Migration can in some circumstances help to perpetuate skills shortages in the economy.
  • The primary policy objective of Government should be the up-skilling of the resident population at all levels.
  • The observance of Community Preference over third country nationals.
underpinning principles continued
Underpinning Principles Continued
  • A narrowing of the occupational gap which currently exists i.e. maximising the full potential of migrants currently working within Ireland would significantly reduce skills shortages and increase productivity.
  • Ireland has to compete with other countries for migrant labour, particularly at the high end of the skills continuum.
  • Migration is justified for the following categories of skills: those with very high skills; entrepreneurs; those with company specific skills; those with knowledge and skills emanating from their host nationality which can be employed e.g. knowledge of markets, culture, and native language
  • In an effectively functioning labour market, real wages adjust to address labour shortages and skill shortage . Wage levels should be free to move in both directions. This does not always occur due to rigidities in the labour market e.g. government intervention (minimum wage) lack of information, mobility issues etc.
egfsn high level proposals october 2005
EGFSN High Level Proposals October 2005
  • Dual system incorporating a Green Card system and a reformed Work Permit system
  • Facilitate high skilled migration on both a permanent and temporary basis and make attractive vis-à-vis competing countries
  • Encourage migration from within the EEA region
  • Reduce the facility to attract low skilled migrants from outside the EEA region
  • Transparency - Reactive to Labour Market - User Friendly - Integration -Balancing Other Interests - Enforcement of Legislation
developments since publication
Developments Since Publication
  • Employment Permits Act 2006
    • Put in place a statutory framework to implement an active, managed economic migration policy
    • Established three pillars - Green Cards, an Intra-Company Transfer Scheme and a revised Work Permits system
    • Provides a number of new important protections for migrant workers who are working in Ireland