Social Innovation Stories


Keep Ireland Working

As the Covid-19 pandemic hit Ireland and measures were taken to contain the spread of the outbreak, some sectors had to lay off workers while others were in high demand for staff. Ireland’s National Recruitment Federation (NRF) run the “Keep Ireland Working” campaign from March to August 2020 to try re-deploying workers across sectors.

  • #Decent Work & Fighting Informality

  • #Skills

  • #Active Labour Market Policies

  • #Job Mobility

  • #Covid19

The challenge

In the first months of the Covid-19 crisis, about 40 % of agency workers in Ireland lost their job, with the majority of these in the retail and hospitality sectors. At the same time, sectors like healthcare or food retail/logistics and warehousing were in high demand for staff and needed to fill positions quickly.


Ireland’s National Recruitment Federation (NRF) launched the “Keep Ireland Working” campaign to promote labour matching and more quick reallocation of workers from sectors with excess of redundancies to sectors in urgent need of workers. From March to August 2020, participating NRF members were put in touch with clients and candidates looking for temporary work or for more permanent role.

Key numbers




% of interested candidates contacted for new opportunities

  • Helping people find temporary work during lockdown/temporary furlough
  • Encouraging jobseekers to look at their skillset and consider options of reskilling for crossing over to another sector
  • Introducing jobseekers to the possibilities offered by private employment agencies and increasing awareness for future work opportunities
  • Demonstrating the role of labour market intermediaries in a time of great job uncertainty
Country/ies of implementation