A review of Ireland’s compliance with the European Social Charter has found that fees for work permits are ‘excessive’ while there is a lack of equality of access to vocational education. A Council of Europe report found that Ireland is failing to conform with international commitments on access to work and vocational education for migrants, according to the Immigrant Council of Ireland.Work permit fees have dramatically risen from the range of €65-500 in 2007 to the present levels of €500-2,250. The Committee ruled the fees being charged are excessive and are likely to prevent or discourage foreign workers from gainful employment as well as leaving them open to exploitation my employers who are unwilling to pay the fees. This increase is on top of the doubling of the immigration registration fee for many people from outside the European Economic Area implemented last November. These fees are being applied to people who are legally here and contribute to our economy.
This report shows that there is much work required to ensure Ireland is more welcoming to those who wish to contribute to our society. The failure to ensure equality of access to vocational education and grant support as highlighted in the report makes for disturbing reading and shows a lack of equality which must end. It is necessary that the Government ensures Ireland becomes fully compliant with international commitments made under the European Social Charter, so as access to work and education is fair and open to all.
To access the statement of the Immigration Council in relation to the report: http://www.immigrantcouncil.ie/media/press-releases/630-council-of-europe-report-raises-serious-equality-issues-ireland-fails-to-conform-with-work-permit-and-vocational-training