New €1.9 million Irish IT Work Permit Initiative Announced

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The Irish government will plough €1.9 million into a new initiative aimed at attracting top tech talent to the country. The drive to employ foreign IT workers on Irish work permits comes as Ireland continues to see supply lag behind demand in the labour market.

The scheme, Tech/Life Ireland, has been established in a bid to issue 3,000 work permits each year to technology professionals in the hope that they will live and work in Ireland. It’s understood that a nationwide marketing initiative will take place, which will be mostly online-based. A dedicated website – – has already been developed.

The initiative will aim to use a combination of social and digital media to showcase Ireland’s style of living and increasing success of the country’s tech sector. The Irish visa  scheme is funded by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and will be delivered in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and the tech industry.

A spokesperson for the Irish government said: “In the first instance, the scheme will target Central and Southern Europe, as these have been identified based on detailed analysis of talent movement.”

It’s understood that the €1.9 million will be spread over three years, as Ireland’s government once again looks to increase the labour pool in an industry sector that has experienced a substantial boom in recent years.

Investment in ICT-related jobs

Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, speaking at the launch of the scheme, said: “If we are to continue to win overseas investment in ICT-related jobs, and to grow the strong base of Irish-owned companies in ICT and related areas, we need to ensure that we have a sufficient supply of talent to meet the needs of enterprises.”

She added: “The growth we are seeing in ICT employment requires us to supplement the supply of our own excellent graduates with overseas talent.  The Tech/Life Ireland campaign will not lessen the opportunities for Irish graduates, but will add to the overall diversity, knowledge base and experience in the ICT workforce.”

According to government data, Ireland has recruited approximately 80,000 workers across various ICT companies since 2009, with that figure set to grow in future. In 2013, the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), which advises the government on current and future skills needs of the economy, noted an increase in demand for ICT skills in Ireland.

The EGFSN says that this increase in demand is due to an increase in ICT demand across software sectors, as well as sectors such as financial services, business services, retail and high-spec manufacturing.

CEO of Storm Technology and Chair of the Tech/Life Ireland, Karl Flannery, said: “Industry and government recognise the need to attract top tech talent to work in Ireland. We have engaged extensively together to understand the needs of the industry in the coming years and to develop this initiative.”

“We are delighted to launch it. I would encourage companies to register with the initiative and keep Ireland’s tech sector thriving through the attraction of the world’s best talent,” he added.

Interest in Irish immigration increasing is receiving increasing interest in Ireland as an immigration option. If you have a contract or employment in Ireland, this may be worth considering. For many it is difficult to gain entry or leave to remain in the UK.

In the UK fewer people now qualify for indefinite leave to remain. The UK Government is likely to take even more steps in future to restrict Tier 2 visas. The Tier 2 work visa is one of the few options left for work-based entry to the UK.

If you are a highly skilled worker with good qualifications and experience then we may be able to come up with an immigration route for Ireland.

For more information on immigration to Ireland, call the London office on 0344 991 9222.