Civil service missing out on highly-skilled applicants because of overly strict rules on who could apply for public sector jobs

Research on equality in the Irish public service found that 97 percent of people working in public jobs were white Irish and that strict eligibility criteria made it far too difficult for migrants to apply for roles.

The discussion paper said the civil service “does not reflect the diversity in wider Irish society” and that there were too many barriers to employment.

The research, from the government agency in charge of hiring public sector staff, said that it was proving extremely difficult for state bodies to source qualified candidates, especially in science, engineering, health and finance.

However, strict rules over who could apply for public service jobs meant that state jobs were often not open to migrants, some of whom had exactly the skill sets needed.

The discussion paper, prepared by the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Unit in Publicjobs, said the size of the civil service was growing by 3.6 percent every year.

It also warned of a looming ‘great retirement’ in the public sector with more than 12,000 people set to conclude their service within the next decade.

The paper said: “The Irish civil service has a very limited scope for hiring non-EEA/non-UK/non-Swiss migrants.

“The pool of eligible candidates at present excludes individuals who would have a robust immigration permission to reside and work in Ireland and potential candidates who could secure such permission.”