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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Labour Migration in Ireland : Overview of trends and recent policy changes The Irish National Contact Point of the European Migration Network is funded."— Presentation transcript:

1 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.

2 1.Overview of trends in migration and immigrant employment in Ireland 2.Labour migration policy and non-EU employment permits system 3.Migrant workers and the crisis 4.Features of immigrant labour market experience in Ireland

3 Trends in Migration Central Statistics Office, Population and Migration Estimates

4 Immigration by National Group

5 Non-Irish Nationals in Employment Source: Central Statistics Office: QNHS

6 Occupational Skill Groups of Non-Irish in Employment Source: QNHS, 2004:Q3; :Q2 Calendarised data

7 Occupational Skill Groups of Non-Irish in Employment Source: QNHS, 2004:Q3; :Q2 Calendarised data

8 Slovakian Nationals Working in Ireland 1 Department of Social Protection

9 Slovakian Nationals Working in Ireland 2 Census 2006

10 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 to peak at 47,500 in 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 EU10 nationals granted full access to the Irish labour market

11 Development of Irish Labour Migration Policy Unprecedented rates of migration 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

12 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

13 Non-EU Employment Permits System

14 The Recession- Irelands GNP Growth Rate

15 Irelands Rate of Unemployment

16 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

17 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

18 Unemployment Rates by Nationality Alan Barrett and Elish Kelly (2010) The Impact of Irelands Recession on the Labour Market Outcomes of its Immigrants. ESRI Working Paper

19 Annual Percentage Change in Employment Q annual rate of employment loss: Non-Irish nationals almost 20%. Nationals 7%

20 Employment Loss by Sector, Q to Q Key point: loss of employment for non-Irish not solely related to an over- concentration in construction. Barrett and Kelly, 2010

21 How was the employment loss among non-Irish nationals distributed across unemployment, inactive and out-migration? Q Q Barrett and Kelly, 2010

22 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

23 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.

24 Main Emerging Issues Irelands 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 Long-term residence not yet a statutory status


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