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Tech firms hiring non-EU workers to fill skills gap

Posted on February 21, 2012
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TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES hired non-EU workers on more than 1,000 occasions last year to help plug a job gap in the industry, which is estimated to have between 2,500 and 3,000 unfilled positions.

non-eu-workers

Just under 1,200 permits were issued last year to non-EU nationals to fill positions in the IT sector. These comprised 493 green cards; 452 work permits; 137 intra-company transfers; and 116 spouse/dependant permits.

Although the HSE received the highest number of permits for non-EU employees, totalling 237, the remainder of the top 10 companies that acquired permits for employees in 2011 was dominated by IT companies, with Wipro Technologies, Google, Tata Consultancy, Infosys Technologies, LM Ericsson and Facebook all making the list.

However, Paul Sweetman, director of ICT Ireland, the communications and technology arm of Ibec, and the Irish Software Association (ISA), said that with more than 4,000 job announcements in the sector last year and over 700 this year to date, the acceleration in growth in the industry was a “good news story” for Ireland. The IT job gap is common in other jurisdictions also, he said.

“The skills demand is acutely felt in every technology hub,” he said, citing numerous European countries where there is a job gap in the sector.

“Many technology hubs are only waking up to the fact that there’s a skills demand where we have acknowledged that skills demand, and are working to address it.”

He added that a joint initiative between the Government, ICT Ireland and ISA launched last month aimed to address the job gap through short, medium and long-term education initiatives.

Barry O’Leary, chief executive of IDA Ireland, said the National Skills Bulletin 2011 showed that 88 per cent of computer systems managers, 79 per cent of software engineers and 84.5 per cent of computer analysts and programmers are Irish.

“Availability of skilled labour is one of the primary reasons, cited by our client companies, for locating operations in Ireland.

“The recently published IMD World Competitiveness Year Book 2011 ranks Ireland first in the world for the availability of skilled labour,” Mr O’Leary said

He said that a number of its client companies have specific language requirements that sometimes have to be met by sourcing staff from outside Ireland.

Overall, the number of “active” non-EU permits stood at 16,256 at the end of December 2011, which marks a 14 per cent decrease on the previous year.

The number of new permits and renewal permits issued last year stood at 5,200 – consisting of green cards, intra-company transfers, spousal/dependant permits, training and work permits – which were issued to people from more than 100 non-EU countries.

This is the lowest number of non-EU permits issued since 1997. The highest level was recorded in 2003 when 48,000 permits were issued.

The highest number of permits issued in 2011 went to those working in the health sector with 1,343 permits issued. More than half of these were spouse/dependant permits.

Meanwhile, 248 work permits and 197 spouse/dependant permits were granted to those working in the catering sector, usually in restaurants that specialise in ethnic cuisines such as Indian, Thai or Chinese.

PERMISSION TO WORK BY NATIONALITY AND EMPLOYER: BY NATIONALITY (new permits and renewal permits)

India 1,646

Philippines 753

USA 493

Romania 327

China 253

Malaysia 181

Brazil 162

South Africa 122

Pakistan 113

Ukraine 100

BY EMPLOYER

HSE 237

Wipro Technologies 161

Google 148

Tata Consultancy Services 99

Ernst and Young 59

Beaumont Hospital 50

Infosys Technologies Ltd 42

LM Ericsson Ltd 37

Domestic and General

Property Support Services 31

Facebook 30

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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