Over 386,000 emigrated in 5 years, new Irish government committee to lure them back
Only 39.5 percent of Ireland’s “brain drain” emigrants plan on returning home
The decision was agreed by members of the Oireachtas (Parliament) Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation following the presentation of a report, entitled “Time to Go”, by the National Youth Council of Ireland.
The research showed that over 386,000 people have emigrated from Ireland, since the banking collapse and economic crisis began in 2008. An estimated 177,000 of these were between 17 and 24 years old and 209 were between 25 to 44.
Marie-Claire McAleer, senior policy officer at the Youth Council, said the research reported last week, which showed that 47 percent of these emigrants had third-level education also showed that only 39.5 percent said they would return to Ireland.
McAleer said that while people were being pushed to emigrate there is also the “pull” and attraction of a new life.
She told the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation “Ireland needs these people”, the Irish Times reported.
However, she said that while Ireland needs them for their skills, societal reasons and for the economy, there was a severe lack of data on what their skills are and where they are going. The Youth Council’s own study was largely based on estimates as figures released by the Central Statistics Office of Ireland did not differentiate between non-national and Irish in their figures.
She also pointed out that she was not surprised that only 39.5 percent wanted to come home as there was very little help for them before their left in Ireland.
The proposed strategy will provide a breakdown of the Irish social networks, such as the GAA, which emigrants are using overseas. It will also look at what kind of jobs might be available.
Chairman of the committee, Damien English, said that Ireland needs to get over its nervousness about providing help for those who emigrate. He said “We need to grow up and just accept it.”
He proposed a plan for support services for emigrants and a strategy to bring them back to Ireland.
Labour Party politician John Lyons said there is still a lot of work to be done in the area of job creation in Ireland. He added that the Irish government had recently updated their “Pathways to Work” plan aimed at youth unemployment.
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