Limerick sees fourth highest number of work permits issued in 2023

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Simon Coveney.

LIMERICK saw the fourth highest number of work permits issued to workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2023, it can be revealed.

Employers in Limerick were granted 1,604 work permits last year, the fourth highest number in Ireland behind Dublin (15,401 work permits issued), Cork (2,613), and Kildare (1,734), according to figures released to the Irish Independent.

According to figures revealed to the Limerick Post by the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, the health and social work sector benefited from the largest number of work permits issued locally in Limerick.

823 permits were issued for those working in the health and social care, while the next highest area was the accommodation and food services sector (115).

This was followed by information and communication (97), construction (81), computer and electrical manufacturing (74), and the chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry (69).

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Just one work permit was issued for the water supply sector, while two permits were issued in the administration and support services area.

This comes as Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Simon Coveney told a packed conference in Limerick last week that he had issued over 30,000 work permits last year.

Speaking at the Scale Ireland Regional Startup Summit at the University of Limerick last Thursday (February 22), Minister Coveney said that migrant workers have been “key” to Ireland’s economic success.

“The challenges we have around international protection and refugees, around our responsibilities in the context of Ukrainian people who are fleeing conflict, these are things that Ireland must figure out better ways to deal with, because there are challenges from a capacity point of view, but let’s not turn that into a debate around migration more generally,” he said.

“That undermines this extraordinary growth that the Irish economy has delivered, on the back of skills that we’re bringing in from all over the world.”

“Last year, I signed off on 31,000 work permits, and we had 39,000 people applying,” Minister Coveney told those present in UL.

The UL Hospitals Group were one of the top employers seeking work permits, according to the Irish Independent data, with NCT service operator Applus also one of the companies with the most work permits issued.

Amazon, AIB, Google, and TikTok were also seeking to recruit large numbers of workers from abroad.

Nurses, healthcare assistants, chefs, computer programmers, and software engineering professionals were the most sought after nationwide in 2023.