Less than a third of the staff needed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation and its agencies to deal with Brexit-related issues have been recruited.
In the last budget, an extra €3m was secured to be specifically targeted to assist in the department’s response to the evolving Brexit scenario.
It was to enable the agencies, including the IDA and Enterprise Ireland, to recruit some 40 to 50 additional staff to supplement existing staffing numbers.
The additional €3m was allocated to: Enterprise Ireland (€1.7m); IDA Ireland (€750,000); Science Foundation Ireland (€150,000); the Health and Safety Authority (€150,000), and the department itself (€250,000).
In response to a parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Stephen Donnelly, Jobs Minister Frances Fitzgerald said 12 positions had been filled to date in Enterprise Ireland, with 19 more advertised and the recruitment process ongoing.
“The remaining eight job specifications are being finalised with a view to advertising them in the immediate future,” said Ms Fitzgerald.
Just three Brexit-related posts have been filled to date at IDA Ireland. Again, the department said the recruitment process for the remaining seven is ongoing. The minister said IDA will fill the remaining Brexit appointments “at the earliest possible opportunity”.
“Additionally, IDA Ireland has sought a further 21 staff resources in order that it can meet the jobs and investment targets set out in its Strategy — “Winning Foreign Direct Investment 2015-2019” — and to meet the global challenges of 2017 and beyond, with Brexit key among the identified challenges,” said Ms Fitzgerald.
In respect of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the minister said the recruitment process to fill three Brexit-related posts was underway and successful candidates are expected to be in place in the coming months. She said a number of current SFI staff also have Brexit-related responsibilities.
The Health and Safety Authority “hopes” to commence the process of recruitment in July for two Brexit-related posts.
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