Musgrave Group lobbies government on non-EU visa rules

Skilled workers such as butchers, deli assistants and bakers are required

Government also needs to “do more in terms of the cost of accommodation and public transport,” says retailer

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8 February 2022 | 0

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Staff shortages have led SuperValu and Centra owner, the Musgrave Group to lobby the government for changes to foreign visa rules to allow more workers into the country.

The group recently met with Minister of State from the Department of Enterprise Damien English, Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney and MEP Mairead McGuinness and other politicians to seek changes to visa requirements that would make it easier to recruit from third countries, according to lobbying records.

Director of corporate affairs Edel Clancy said staff shortages were an issue “across the board” for retail, which had created the need to recruit from outside Ireland and the EU.

She also said that government needed to “do more in terms of the cost of accommodation and public transport.”

Clancy said that while the group “exhausts all avenues to hire Irish workers and EU workers,” a shortage across the board, created the need to recruit from outside the EEA.

The Irish Times reports that last October, Minister of State for Business Damien English abolished the quota of 320 for employment permits granted to HGV drivers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). A total of 187 employment permits were issued, the majority of which went to South Africa.

More dairy-farm assistants, meat processors, builders, hospitality managers, horticulture workers, are likewise to be allowed the work permits, as also social workers and opticians.

A spokesman for the Department said changes are made to employment permit occupations lists “where there are no suitable Irish/EEA nationals available and the labour shortage is genuine and not due to working conditions or the salary being offered.”

The next review of the Occupations Lists will open in the coming weeks by Public Consultation.

 

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