Irish emigrants prepared to take up jobs in vital sectors have been offered free flights home – from Australia.

FRS Recruitment agency is offering flights home up to a total value of €938, or 1,000 Australian dollars, to fill jobs in Ireland.

Irish emigrants living in Australia have been promised free flights home by the recruitment agency if they return to fill job vacancies in the healthcare and pharma, construction, finance, and IT sectors.

The agency is running roadshows in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, from this Thursday, November 8 until the 13th.

The Irish Times reports that the agency needs to fill 150 doctor vacancies across the Irish health service by January, more than 100 nurses and allied health professional roles, 120 construction-related positions, and an unquantifiable number of jobs in IT. The vacancies are in every county.

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Australia was the destination of choice for many young Irish emigrants following the collapse of the Celtic Tiger in 2008. It is estimated that 100,000 Irish people moved to Australia between 2008 and 2014.

Emigration peaked at the height of the recession in 2012 when 17,400 people moved from Ireland to Australia, according to figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

An improving economy at home and greater visa restrictions in Australia have seen that number fall off dramatically. Just 5,300 people arrived in Australia from Ireland last year.

The number of people moving from Australia to Ireland in the same period has steadily increased, from 4,500 in 2012 to 7,200 last year.

The latest migration statistics from the CSO show that more Irish nationals returned to Ireland (28,400) than left (28,300) in the 12 months to April 2018.  Though the net inward migration is small, it is seen as significant as the Irish economy reaches full employment.

FRS Recruitment general manager Colin Donnery said the flight incentive is in response to the difficulties employers are having in recruiting candidates to fill vacancies in these sectors in Ireland.

“As the country is moving closer to full employment, it is becoming more difficult to find suitably qualified personnel. Companies in Ireland are increasingly looking further afield to find people to fill important roles,” he told The Irish Times.

“For these companies, it is not just about filling the vacancy, it is about finding the right candidate that meets their needs.”

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