While most industries in Ireland are stagnant or declining, the technical sector is experiencing surprising growth, reports an article in the Irish Times from Monday, 23rd July 2012. There is an increased need for highly skilled technical workers, but the graduates from Irish universities are not sufficient to fill the demand. Companies are attempting to fill the vacant jobs with international workers, but they’re experiencing trouble with the bureaucratic element.
In Ireland, workers are given a green card, which allows them to obtain a visa to work in the State. The green card scheme is designed to recruit highly skilled workers to fill specific voids in various industries in Ireland. In order to obtain a green card, however, the worker must already have a job. In the time it takes to process the paperwork, the worker might not be available anymore. Smaller firms especially have a difficult time with the bureaucratic process, considering that many of them do not have an HR representative.
Most of the EU operates under a blue card scheme, which is an easier process. A blue card allows a highly skilled technical worker to enter into the EU and work in the region, allowing for a greater flexibility and mobility. Most of the EU already operates under this system, with Germany set to implement it on 1st August. However Ireland, along with the UK and Denmark, has not participated yet.
Zartis is a software recruiting website, and John Dennehy, an employee, commented on the situation. He said, “If you brought in 10,000 people with computer science degrees, they would all have jobs within two or three months. Companies are crying out for those skills. We don’t have enough people in Ireland. They’re not going to take anybody’s jobs, because they are vacant.” His speech highlights one of the top concerns that governments face when bringing in international workers. A government does not want to handicap its own industrial sector by allowing international workers to arrive that might steal the work from Irish nationals, but Dennehy’s point is that the jobs are vacant anyway. People have expressed concerns that open borders might be taken advantage of, but for right now, the negatives are outweighed by the benefits.