Eight-fold rise in foreigners seeking qualification recognition

THE number of migrant workers seeking recognition for their foreign education qualifications has increased eight-fold over the past three years, it emerged last night.

People of 70 nationalities applied to the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland to have their qualifications recognised.

Around 47% of applications came from nationals from new EU states and the Russian Federation.

“If migrant workers are to secure jobs in Ireland that match their experience and qualifications and continue to contribute positively to the Irish economy, it is essential that their foreign qualifications can be verified and recognised by Irish employers,” said NQAI director of corporate affairs Claire Byrne.

More than 180 representatives at the NQAI’s conference in Dublin were told the demand from migrant workers for official recognition of their qualifications was expected to increase a further 100% this year.

Ms Byrne said: “In the absence of an EU-wide recognition programme, it is vital that Irish employers, educational institutions and migrant bodies work together to further develop the recognition system in Ireland and ensure Ireland is benefiting from the skills of migrant workers.”

The NQAI is researching the education systems and qualifications of the countries from which the majority of migrants to Ireland come from. The findings will be distributed to employers and educational institutions to aid them in deciding upon the validity of foreign qualifications.

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