Health care assistants removed from ineligible occupation list for immigrant workers
Changes have been made to the employment permits system to address immediate skills and labour shortages in the healthcare and nursing home sectors.
Health care assistants will be removed from the ineligible occupation list for workers coming to Ireland from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) following a comprehensive review.
Damien English, minister of state for business, employment and retail, said: “With increases in the ageing population and consequent increases in demand for services, significant extra health care assistants will be required to provide sufficient long-term residential care for older people into the future.
“The impact of Covid-19 also means that the demand for health care assistants is likely to continue to be significant.”
There will be a requirement that health care assistants coming to Ireland should have attained a relevant QQI Level 5 qualification after two years’ employment. There will also be a minimum annual remuneration threshold of €27,000 for the occupation.
The framework will be reviewed after 12 months to ensure that the changes meet the needs of the sector.
Additionally, the role of dietician will be added to the critical skilled list and social workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists will be removed from the ineligible occupation list.
Mr English said: “Our economic migration policy accommodates the arrival of non-EEA nationals to fill skills and labour gaps in the domestic economy in the short to medium term.
“My department reviews the system bi-annually, working with other government departments to promote an integrated approach to address labour and skills shortages in the longer term. Where shortages are clearly evidenced, the employment permit system is flexible enough to address these shortages in real time.”