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527. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Justice the reason persons residing in direct provision who are awaiting the outcome of applications to remain in the State cannot work if they have the appropriate qualifications and in particular in circumstances in which there is a shortage of workers for the area they are qualified in. [54192/21]

528. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Justice the number of persons that have been approved permission to access the labour market in Ireland from 2017 to date by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54195/21]

Answer

Minister for Justice (Deputy Helen McEntee): I propose to take Questions Nos. 527 and 528 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, international protection applicants are not required to apply for an employment permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to legally obtain employment in the State. Access to the labour market is provided under the European Communities (Reception Conditions) Regulations 2018 to 2021. These Regulations transpose the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive and came into operation from 30 June 2018.
The Regulations provide access to both employment and self-employment for any applicant who has not received a first instance decision within 6 months of making their international protection application and provided that they have cooperated with the international protection process. Applicants who are eligible for a labour market access permission can access all sectors of employment and occupations with the exception of those that require a citizenship or long-term residence requirement, such as the Civil and Public Sector, An Garda Síochána and the Irish Defence Forces.
Applications are made to the Labour Market Access Unit of my Department. If the application is successful, a labour market access permission is granted, which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and may be renewed until a final decision is made on the person's international protection application.
Up to and including 31 October 2021, a total of 9,546 applications have been received for a labour market access permission. Of these applications, approximately three quarters (7,248) have been granted and 2,132 have been refused, with a further 117 applications pending. The pending figure includes applications which have not yet reached the 6 months criterion, and those where the return of requested supporting documents is awaited and may therefore ultimately become granted applications.
Of the applications granted a permission, a total of 4,422 have returned their LMA5 form to my Department indicating that they have found employment.
The statistics requested by the Deputy are provided in the table attached to this response. As the labour market access began from 30 June 2018, there is no data available for permissions granted in 2017.

- 2018 2018 Total 2019 2019 Total 2020 2020 Total 2021 2021 Total
Row Labels Granted Refused Granted Refused Granted Refused Granted Refused
Carlow 1 1 2 4 4 3 3 1 1
Cavan 2 2 4 17 8 25 28 9 37 15 15
Clare 123 32 155 97 35 132 90 20 110 27 3 30
Cork 267 80 347 191 68 259 208 44 252 103 22 125
Donegal 13 6 19 9 3 12 14 3 17 20 4 24
Dublin 249 131 380 366 149 515 529 91 620 350 47 397
Galway 128 59 187 82 31 113 107 21 128 48 8 56
Kerry 149 55 204 143 67 210 111 28 139 58 8 66
Kildare 30 14 44 97 33 130 41 10 51 40 3 43
Kilkenny 3 3 2 1 3 6 6 4 4
Laois 78 30 108 57 29 86 93 14 107 38 4 42
Leitrim 8 3 11 50 2 52 11 1 12
Limerick 74 45 119 60 45 105 97 16 113 74 7 81
Longford 42 22 64 26 21 47 31 4 35 31 3 34
Louth 11 8 19 48 16 64 70 7 77 43 2 45
Mayo 47 15 62 25 10 35 28 5 33 15 6 21
Meath 80 23 103 90 41 131 118 16 134 68 7 75
Monaghan 46 23 69 80 37 117 175 19 194 111 20 131
Not Recorded 134 97 231 59 37 96 6 7 13 4 3 7
Offaly 2 1 3 4 2 6 101 9 110 10 2 12
Roscommon 3 2 5 11 2 13 8 1 9 6 1 7
Sligo 95 29 124 57 20 77 36 8 44 21 3 24
Tipperary 55 4 59 37 8 45 55 11 66 22 1 23
Waterford 134 51 185 71 40 111 69 15 84 47 12 59
Westmeath 77 32 109 91 37 128 67 30 97 40 6 46
Wexford 2 1 3 10 8 18 85 12 97 14 14
Wicklow 3 3 58 20 78 104 16 120 55 6 61
Grand Total 1848 763 2611 1800 771 2571 2330 418 2748 1275 180 1455

Question No. 528 answered with Question No. 527.