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.

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