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Newsflash: Minister Richmond announces 100 employment permits for Lineworkers

15 September 2023

What is the change?

The Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Neale Richmond TD, has announced a new quota to be filled of 100 General Employment Permits for a specific group of employees, lineworkers. They have been approved to help relieve the pressure on the ESB Networks’ overhead line framework contractors.


Key points:

• 100 new General Employment Permits guaranteed in this subset of worker to fill the quota.
• The role of lineworker is a specialised role in the construction and maintenance of overhead electrical transmission and distribution facilities that deliver electrical energy to industrial, commercial, and residential premises.
• The quota has been introduced as it is becoming difficult to find Irish residents to fill these roles. ESB can therefore source workers from other areas to enable them to work towards government goals such as Climate Action Plan 2023 and Housing for All.


Analysis & Comments:

This is a positive development for both the ESB’s goals and for the immigration system in Ireland. Not only will this improve the electrical networks throughout Ireland, but it is an example of how immigration regulations can be reviewed to promote an integrated approach in addressing labour and skills shortages and keeps the employment permits system under review in light of changing labour market circumstances.

The quota was introduced partly due to direct negotiation between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and the Environment but also as a result of the ongoing review of the employment permits regulations. Public submissions were taken in by the Department recently and are currently under consideration.


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