Staff shortages and recruitment supports

Last updated: May 19th, 2022

With reopening plans for all sectors of the economy expected in the coming weeks, businesses that have been closed during the restrictions will soon be opening back up.

Resuming operations is a big challenge after a lengthy period of inactivity. Part of this process involves reigniting relationships with stakeholders in the business, including employees.

Recently, it has been emerging that it’s not just a case of rehiring staff who worked with you before the coronavirus pandemic. Many businesses are reporting problems with finding enough staff to reopen in the way they would like.

Although there are still high numbers of unemployed people following the pandemic, some staff have moved back to their home country, changed career, or found work in different businesses.

From an employer’s perspective, this raises issues in terms of finding new staff and training inexperienced staff.

Government supports

The Government has put the following recruitment supports in place to help employers staff their businesses back up.

Work Placement Experience Programme

One support that may be appropriate is the Work Placement Experience Programme (WPEP).

The WPEP makes work experience places available to job seekers who have been unemployed for six months or more.

The main benefit of the WPEP is that it will not increase the host employer’s labour costs. Any staff recruited under this scheme will be paid an allowance directly by the Department of Social Protection. Host employers are not permitted to supplement this rate of pay.


The JobsPlus scheme is an employer incentive that encourages and rewards employers who employ jobseekers on the Live Register. There are clear financial incentives for participating in this scheme. Employers who participate will be entitled to receive regular payments totalling €7,500 or €10,000 over a two-year period.

To avail of the scheme, interested employers should complete the JobsPlus Online Application for Employers.

Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme

The Apprenticeship Incentivisation Scheme provides financial support for apprenticeship employers who take on apprentices on all national apprenticeship programmes.

Apprenticeship employers are eligible for a €3,000 payment for each new apprentice who is registered between the period March 1st and June 30th, 2021.

€2,000 per apprentice is payable at the point of registration with a further €1,000 payable in Quarter 3 2021 for each eligible apprentice retained on their apprenticeship. For more details, see the Apprenticeship Incentivisation website here.

Recruitment advice from Graphite experts

Graphite consultants are experts in employment law and know how to manage all HR issues that might arise during an employment relationship.

If you’re experiencing problems with recruitment before reopening, let Graphite’s experts assist you with anti-discrimination advice, information on how to avail of Government supports and guidance on probation periods and ensuring new hires receive proper training and induction.

If your business needs help, contact us on 01 886 0350 or request a callback here.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Book a call with a consultant

Complete the form below and a consultant will call you as soon as possible.

Latest Resources

Employer’s guide to lay-offs in Ireland

It’s common for businesses facing a downturn in trade to let employees go on a temporary basis. As an employer, you may also need to […]

Long-term sickness absence: When to conduct an informal welfare meeting

Everyone gets sick, so short-term sickness absence is something all employers will have to deal with from time to time and tends to cause minimal […]

Notice periods: an employer’s guide

Within a business, it’s constantly necessary to re-evaluate and adjust workforce planning. Whether this is due to employees looking for different career paths or the […]

Olga Shevchenko

Director/Advocate, Immigration Advice Bureau

Olga Shevchenko specialises in immigration advocacy and consultancy, in particular, employment permit, visas, family reunification, citizenship, etc, for those seeking to visit, reside or invest in Ireland.

Olga provides extensive information, knowledge, and support to her clients, enabling access to positive solutions for people struggling to handle the immigration law.

Minister Neale Richmond

Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Neale Richmond TD was appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment with special responsibility for Employment Affairs and Retail Business and the Department of Social Protection in January 2023.

Much of his work at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is with businesses, workers, their representative bodies and the State Agencies to ensure that the economic recovery and growth extends to all parts of the country. He works closely with the SME sector, including retail, on building resilience and on the transition to the green and digital economies.

Mark Carpenter

Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Sky

Mark Carpenter is Director of Regulatory & Corporate Affairs at Sky Ireland. In this role he has responsibility for External and Internal Communications, Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs and the company’s ‘Bigger Picture’ (CSR) programme. He also works closely with Sky Group teams on a variety of matters, in particular our partnerships with domestic broadcasters.

Prior to working at Sky, Mark worked as a Policy Officer in Houses of the Oireachtas and as a Management Consultant at Accenture. He has a BA in History from Oxford University and a PhD in Political Science from Trinity College Dublin.

Nora Cashe

Litigation and Compliance Manager, Peninsula

Nóra studied Law in Griffith College Dublin and qualified as a Barrister in 2008, practising in the area of Criminal law. She is also member of the Irish Employment Law Association.

Nora has extensive experience representing clients at Employment Tribunal hearings, Conciliation / Mediation meetings before both the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court. 

Nóra is a member of the Irish Employment Law Association and engages with the WRC Adjudication Service as part of their stakeholder engagement forum.

Deiric McCann

Managing Director, Genos International Europe

Deiric McCann leads Genos International Europe – The EU division of a world-leading provider of emotional intelligence solutions. 

With over two decades experience at the highest levels of management, Deiric supports clients to develop the resilience, emotional intelligence, psychological safety and engagements of their employees.

Rhiannon Coyne

Senior HR Consultant, Graphite HRM

Rhiannon Coyne is a Senior HR Consultant at Graphite HRM and will be providing an overview of best practice on how to deal with complaints of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 

With a number of recent updates to employment laws, Rhiannon will take a closer look at employment equality and how it is interlinked to Health & Safety and what employers can learn from recent case laws.

David Begg

Chairman, Workplace Relations Commission

David Begg was appointed Chairperson of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) in January 2021.

David is also a professor at Maynooth University Institute of Social Sciences. Mr Begg’s extensive history in the trade union movement included leading the ESB Officers Association and Irish Congress of Trade Unions, stepping away from the latter in 2001 to chair international aid agency Concern.

David Begg was also previously a director of the Central Bank of Ireland between 1995 and 2010.