The Irish Farmers Association has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys of an additional 100 dairy labour permits for workers from outside the EU/EEA.
However, the farmers’ lobby group said that the same approach is now needed for the pig and poultry sector, which are experiencing the same recruitment difficulties.
“It is crucial that the Minister recognise the labour and skills shortages also affecting the Irish pig and poultry farming sectors,” IFA President Joe Healy said.
“They too need to be able to access workers from outside the EU/EEA.”
The IFA said that it made a ‘detailed business case’ for this, which it said the Minister has responded positively to, following the initial run of 50 permits.
“It is important that some of the details of the scheme be reviewed to make it more flexible and a better fit for farmers,” Healy explained, “who in many cases are first-time employers, without access to HR departments or consultants.”
He added that those who have applied in recent months must retain their place in the queue and not have to reapply for this new batch of permits.
“There are many prospective farmer employers at different points of their expansion plans, who will now be keen to recruit well ahead of the busy spring 2020 period to ensure they can train and settle their new employees into the business,” he continued.
“This must be facilitated by the prompt processing and greater feedback during the application process, with dedicated teams and contact points for farmer applicants within the Department.”
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.