If you want to work in Ireland do some background research into the job market and available opportunities before packing your bags and heading to the Emerald Isle.

Job market in Ireland

The key sectors of the Irish economy are services, industry and exportation.

Within industry, chemicals, computer equipment and food products are all big contributors to gross domestic product (GDP).

Trade and exportation have grown hugely in recent years. The country is one of the world’s largest software exporters thanks to low taxation, its geographical location and the fact that English is an official language of the country.

As a result, industry giants in ICT, pharmaceuticals, social media and finance all have offices in Ireland, these large multinational companies include:

  • Microsoft;
  • IBM;
  • Intel;
  • Twitter;
  • Google;
  • Apple;
  • Facebook;
  • GSK;
  • Genzyme.

Ireland was hit significantly by the global economic downturn, which caused firms to cut back on recruitment. The outlook now appears to be improving.

Sectors that are in need of skilled workers include:

  • IT;
  • accounting;
  • business and finance;
  • healthcare;
  • engineering.

Candidates without work experience or third-level qualifications may, however, be overlooked.

Job vacancies

Search for jobs in Ireland at:

Work experience and internships in Ireland

Because of the competitive job market in Ireland, candidates are more likely to secure a role in the country if they have relevant work experience.

Depending on the industry in which you want to work, you could contact firms individually to see if they have a scheme in place.

Alternatively, there are numerous services for helping people secure work experience, including:

Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:

  • AIESEC UK – for students and recent graduates;
  • IAESTE UK – for science, engineering and applied arts students.

Volunteering in Ireland

Voluntary work is a great way of boosting your CV and showing prospective employers that you are dedicated to learning and improving your skills.

Volunteer Ireland, the country’s single national volunteering organisation, assists people who want to help out across the country.

The European Commission (EC) funds a scheme called The European Voluntary Service (EVS), which is aimed at people aged 18 to 30 wishing to volunteer abroad. It offers young people the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.

Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. For successful applicants, accommodation, travel, food and insurance are all covered by a European grant and you even receive a personal allowance each month.

Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.

Language requirements

English and Irish (also known as Gaelic or Gaeilge) are the two official languages of Ireland, although English is the first language of the majority of the country.

Despite Irish not being spoken on a daily basis, it is an important part of the country’s heritage and identity.

Good English skills will be sufficient for most jobs, although some knowledge of Irish might help.

Irish visas and immigration

According to the EC, European Union (EU) citizens have the right to:

  • move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
  • enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
  • stay in the country even after employment has finished.

For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:

A Personal Public Service (PPS) number is a unique reference number offering access to public services and social welfare benefits. It is automatically issued to all Irish citizens. Non-Irish nationals can apply for a PPS number on arrival in the country. For more information, visit Citizens Information – Personal Public Service Number.

EU nationals may also be able to transfer certain types of health and social security coverage to their host country. For country-specific information on social security entitlements, see European Commission – Your Rights Country by Country.

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