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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities

On this page
  1. Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility
  2. Legal framework


Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility


Experience Your Europe (EYE)

As part of the Youth Guarantee, European Employment Services - EURES Ireland - has been tasked to provide apprenticeship/work opportunities for the 18-24 age group, who are three months or longer on the live register. 


One of the specific actions Ireland outlined to implement this recommendation is to introduce a programme for 18-24-year-olds. 


The EURES - Experience Your Europe (EYE) Programme offers the following options:

  • Option 1: 12 month sponsored Internship in another European country. To gain experience and develop language skills so that a person can apply for job opportunities in Ireland on their return.
  • Option 2: Assisting job seekers who wish to work in Europe 
  • Option 3: Apprenticeship Programme in Germany. Supports include - Intensive language training in Ireland, Induction Day - CV preparation/Interview Skills, Training allowance/Settling in allowance and Travel Expenses.


Your First EURES Job

Your first EURES job is a European Union job mobility scheme to help young people (18-35 years of age) find work and to help employers find workers in Europe. 


Your first EURES job is based on support from national employment services – information, job search, recruitment, funding – for both young jobseekers and businesses interested in recruiting from outside their home country.


Your first EURES job offers jobseekers support in taking up employment in the EU, Norway or Iceland including:

  • Financial support (allowances for travel to an interview, relocation to another country and recognition of qualifications)
  • Language training Allowance (if required)
  • Induction Programme to include: information on living and working abroad,
  • CV preparation/ Interview skills


EURES is co-funded by the Department of Social Protection and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020. 


EU Erasmus Programme for Young Entrepreneurs

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs scheme aims to enhance entrepreneurship, improve international competitiveness of European SME’s and to support potential start-up’s and newly established SME’s in participating countries, including Ireland.  


Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs helps provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and/or successfully run a small business in Europe. New entrepreneurs gather and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of 1- to 6-months. The stay is partly financed by the European Commission.


Legal framework

Most non-EEA nationals must have an employment permit to work in Ireland. The employment permits scheme is governed by the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014


There are 9 types of employment permits in Ireland. These are: 

  • A General Employment Permit
  • A Critical Skills Employment Permit
  • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
  • Reactivation Employment Permit
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
  • Internship Employment Permit
  • Sport and Cultural Employment Permit
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit 


The rights of young workers are protected by the Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. The aim of the Act is to protect the health of young workers and ensure that work carried out during school years does not put young people's education at risk. 


The Act sets minimum age limits for employment, rest intervals and maximum working hours and prohibits the employment of anyone under 18 on late-night work. The Act also requires employers to keep specified records for workers under 18. 


There are no nationality conditions attached to Irish social insurance or social assistance schemes. However, a habitual residence condition applies for certain social assistance schemes and for child benefit. Habitual residence means a person is residing in Ireland or has a proven close link to the state.


Where a person is working in Ireland since coming from an EU or EEA country, this condition does not apply for Child Benefit, One-Parent Family Payment or in certain circumstances for Supplementary Welfare Allowance. 


For contributory benefits, a person must satisfy the same contribution and other conditions, but the contribution conditions may be satisfied by counting both your current insurance record and that in previous EU or EEA countries.