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EACEA National Policies Platform


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

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

Last update: 25 July 2023
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  1. Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility
  2. Legal framework

Programmes and schemes for cross-border mobility

EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme

The EURES Targeted Mobility Scheme (TMS) is an EU funded project (previously known as Your First EURES Job). TMS aims to increase mobility in the EU by matching candidates with employers with hard to fill vacancies, including EURES mobility services and various financial supports.

TMS supports jobseekers to exercise their right to freedom of movement across the EU and helps to address labour market shortages and surpluses. Target groups are jobseekers aged 18 or older and employers from an EU country, Norway, or Iceland. TMS supports jobs and small numbers of work-based traineeships. It is funded by the European Commission through the Employment and Social Innovation. 

TMS 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. 


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-ups and newly established SME’s in participating countries, including Ireland. 

The scheme 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.

The benefits for the participating entrepreneurs include:

  • build their capacity to manage a small company
  • gain relevant skills and knowledge
  • get practical experience
  • network. 

Applications can be made through local contact point. In Ireland, the local contact points are the Dublin Chamber of Commerce or Helping Networks. 


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
  • Dependent/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 EEAcountries.