Visa Reform for Ireland’s Technical Sector

Dan Kiely, CEO of Voxpro and Board Member CCMA explores the need for Rapid reform of Visa laws to attract Technical talent to Ireland.

Ireland Visa Reform in the Tech sectorAs a direct result of discussions and lobbying activities between the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC), with senior officials and political representatives over the past months, it looks like rapid visa reform for the tech sector is finally about to materialise.

According to sources this initiative will be contained in the next iteration of the Action Plan for Jobs, and all going well, will be implemented at the beginning of Q2 this year.  Part of the Action Jobs plan for 2013 is to make Ireland the most attractive country in the world for ICT skills availability and build on our existing enterprise strengths to make Ireland a leading country in Europe in "Big Data".

A very informative and interesting website, which is well worth visiting, was set up by Sean O'Sullivan to support the tech visa initiative.  According to Sean the first country in Europe to issue tech visas will benefit from incredible growth and employment potential.

The benefits of this reform speak for themselves.  Not only will it allow indigenous and multi-national companies to grow but it will also contribute to the creation of multiple spin off jobs. 

Ireland could potentially have access to 75,000 skilled emigrants who in turn could each generate 6 additional jobs to the local economy.

According to industry officials, around 5,000 tech jobs remain unfilled in the past two years due to the issues associated with finding qualified employees.  The visa reform would go a long way to resolving this issue, and greatly benefit the tech sectors, making the state a more attractive place to do business.

Indigenous companies are finding that the long wait associated with obtaining visas means they are losing valuable, potential employees.  The obvious result is that companies are missing out on new projects and expansion because of the skills shortage. The growth of the sector is currently being seriously hampered as many companies are forced to outsource crucial ICT functions overseas.

It has in fact been suggested that up to 100,000 jobs could be created as a result of the technology visa reform.  In addition there are tax benefits of the tech visa, even better still the tech visa costs nothing to implement.

As you can imagine the CCMA is getting behind the already widespread support for the tech visa reform as this initiative would open up markets for existing companies and also trigger entrepreneurship. It would also go a long way to developing Ireland as the Silicon Valley of Europe.

Learn more about Dan Kiely on LinkedIn