Desperate jobseekers queued for almost five hours before the doors opened on Ireland’s latest Working Abroad Expo in Dublin.
At one stage, organisers had to send people away from the RDS complex in Dublin because there was no chance they’d even gain admission to the event.
Over 20,000 people attended the two day exhibition as would be emigrants sought the chance to leave Ireland’s economic woes behind.
Visitors paid $14 each to view the job opportunities on offer from 80 recruiters and government officials from Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Canada was the number one destination as far as the majority of those looking for work were concerned.
Those visiting the stall set-up by provincial government of Saskatchewan in Canada’s mid-west were able to quiz Irish ex-pats Howard Morrissey (35) and his wife Sinead (40) from Tipperary.
The Morrisseys attended the same fair in 2009 and were drawn to the prospects of a new life in Canada with their daughter Cara.
They now live in the province’s largest city of Regina and are employed in the building and communications industries respectively.
“It’s booming. The quality of life is good. And when your kids finish school or university, they’ll get jobs,” said Howard Morrissey.
“The weather does take getting used to but you cope. It’s a different lifestyle, different surroundings, so you just have to be open-minded and adapt.
“Regina, with a population of around 200,000, is not a big metropolis like Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. But the province’s thriving economy is based on potash mining, oil and gas and traditional agriculture.
“That’s what’s fuelling the boom. Not like here during the Celtic Tiger where it was a fake boom and they were building houses for the sake of building houses.”
Asked if they will ever return to Ireland, Morrissey replied “What’s there to come back for?”
Over 80 exhibitors were at the event in Dublin looking for suitable candidates for jobs in construction, farming and health care.
Entry was ticket-only on Sunday as people flocked to the RDS to see what employment opportunities are available abroad.
It was a huge success for some of the foreign recruiters at the Expo, who will get their pick of top Irish talent to fill positions.
“The company I work for got about 150 CVs yesterday and will be delighted to receive the same today,” Charlie Melia, who is helping a Canadian company recruit doctors, told journal.ie on Sunday.
Canada is seeking tens of thousands of Irish workers to fill a wide range of jobs, the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland announced recently.
The country is seeking to fill a labor shortage caused by a strong economy, massive infrastructure projects and booming fisheries, mining, oil and natural gas industries.
"I'm hearing numbers like between 30,000 and 40,000 in construction alone," Ambassador Loyola Hearn told the Irish Independent.
The Expo will head south during the week for a one-day stop in Cork on Wednesday. Organizers are reportedly considering adding a second day at the Silver Springs Hotel in Cork to meet the demand of the Irish public.
As well as meeting recruiters at the event, people looking to live abroad can meet with government officials at the event and get information on visas, shipping and other services.