Irish flock to Canada as jobs dry up in Ireland

Some 10,000 Irish citizens have secured Canadian working visas for next year, a travel agency based in Ireland has said.

As the economic climate in Europe worsens and Ireland continues to suffer in recession, young Irish people are leaving in droves to find a better life in Canada.

The Toronto Star newspaper has reported a large influx of Irish emigrants to Canada.
 
Fleeing an unemployment rate of nearly 14 percent, the newspaper reports that a large number of highly skilled Irish graduates are relocating to Canada.
 
The newspaper quips that there is "no potato famine or decades-political conflict" pushing the Irish abroad, but rather a deepening economic recession.
 
Toronto's hostels say that as many as half of their customers in the last 18 months are from Ireland.
 
The number of Irish workers in Canada jumped from 1,514 in 2004 to 2,604 in 2008. However, the present figures are thought to be several times higher than the 2008 figure.
 
The London-based National Economic and Social Research Institute said that over 18,400 Irish nationals have emigrated to Commonwealth nations in the year ending April 2009.
 
The research institute expects the exodus to last at least another two years. 

Seamus Blake, a 24-year-old Irishman, has a master’s degree in financial mathematics moved to Canada with a one-year work visa.
 
 "At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any jobs for new graduates in Ireland. From what I heard, Canada’s economy has already bounced back and it’s full of opportunities,” said Blake.
Deputy head of Canada's Irish Embassy, Karl Gardner, said that Irish people have a long tradition of migration.
 
Ireland's population currently stands at 4.5 million, and there is an estimated 70 million people with Irish heritage spread around the world.
 
“We have always travelled. The sense is it is something that we do," said Gardner.
 
Executive director of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, Eamonn O'Loughlin, said that he receives countless of emails from "lost friends and relatives,” asking about job prospects in Canada.
 
"I try to be realistic and tell people that the job market is tight here as well, but it is easier if you have the education, skills and network in business," said O'Loughlin.
 
O'Loughlin has met at least 60 new arrivals in the last year and has helped them get in contact with his group’s 250 members.
 
O'Loughlin plans to hold a Welcome to Canada Information Night on June 1, which will offer tips about jobs and accommodation in Canada.

The group is starting a Facebook page and is starting an online employment website this month.
 
Sandra McEoghain, founder of the Irish Association of Toronto, said that many of its members are recent arrivals and are aged between 24 and 35.
 
"There’s advertising in Ireland about Canada and some people are falling for that. People realized Canadian banks did really well during the recession and think there have to be more opportunities here,” said O'Loughlin.
 The Toronto newspaper said that some Irish immigrants were finding it difficult to find affordable accommodation and jobs without Canadian references.
 
The Irish now "had to adapt to the Canadian resume style, pick up colloquial English and spend time building a professional network."
    
Dubliner Brian Keane (35) came to Canada in December after he lost his senior management job last Autumn.
 
Keane has a university degree and spent 11 years in Construction management.
“I have guilt for not feeling homesick. I really like the Canadian lifestyle and the people are so friendly, outgoing, welcoming and helpful," said Keane.
 
“My advice for those who’d like to move to Canada is: Don’t think twice, but plan it!”

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