– Dairy farm assistants, bus and coach drivers, and home carers now eligible for employment permits
The changes, which will come into effect immediately follow constructive engagement between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; the Department of Transport and the Department of Health in recent months, and a review of the workforce challenges in these sectors.
These measures will help alleviate the pressures being faced by farmers in the dairy sector, who have struggled to source workers in the local economy. Evidence provided by consultation with the ICMSA and the Farm Relief Service points to significant recruitment challenges and the introduction of this quota will be particularly welcome as we approach the busy calving season.
The measures in respect of home carers follow the establishment of the cross-departmental Strategic Workforce Advisory Group in March 2022 to examine strategic workforce challenges in publicly and privately provided frontline carer roles in home care and long-term residential care for older people. The Group’s report contained 16 recommendations spanning areas of recruitment, pay and conditions, barriers to employment, training and professional development and sectoral reform, and included a recommendation to establish a quota of 1,000 employment permits for home carers.
The Government is strongly committed to providing all citizens with reliable and sustainable mobility options, and the establishment of a quota of 1,500 employment permits for bus and coach drivers will help address the recruitment challenges being faced by the sector.