Labour Market Integration of International Protection Applicants in Ireland


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Ireland granted international protection applicants the right to work in mid-2018. A considerable number of applicants have sought to access the labour market since then, with over 12,000 applicants granted labour market access permissions up to the end of 2022. New ESRI research examines labour market access by applicants and their integration into the Irish labour market.

The research is part of an EU-wide study conducted by the European Migration Network (EMN), which is funded in Ireland by the European Commission and the Department of Justice.

Key findings

For the period between mid-2018, when access was first granted to international protection applicants, and the end of 2022:

  • A majority of first-time labour market access applications were granted (80 per cent).
  • A labour market access permission is valid for one year and can be renewed. Most applications for renewals were granted (94 per cent).
  • Available data show that most enter low skilled jobs, which are characterised by lower wages and poorer working conditions. The most common reported job titles were general operative (for example, in a warehouse), healthcare assistant, kitchen porter and cleaner.
  • Young people in the international protection system are applying for and being granted labour market access permissions, with 135 young people aged 16 and 17 obtaining labour market access permissions between mid-2018 and 2022.
Author(s):Michał Polakowski and Emily Cunniffe
Publisher:Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)
Publication Date:24 Mar 2023
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