Canada to Encourage Irish Immigration at Jobs Expo Dublin and Jobs Expo Cork

A street in Dublin, Ireland. Thousands of Irish job seekers are expected at the job expos being held in Dublin and Cork on September 6, 7 and 10 (Jean Housen)

At least seven Canadian companies will have a presence at this year’s Jobs Expo Dublin and Jobs Expo Cork, where they will promote the country as an ideal destination for Ireland’s skilled workers to find work and to settle.

The job expo, which is scheduled for Friday September 6th and Saturday 7th in Dublin, and Tuesday September 10th in Cork, will attract thousands from across Ireland seeking to assess the employment opportunities being offered. Dozens of companies from around the world will be manning booths at the event.

With Ireland now back in recession, immigration to Canada is becoming an increasingly attractive option for the country’s workers, whose skills, including English fluency and many with skilled trades qualifications, are well matched for Canada’s economy.

Among Canadian firms present at the expo will be CICS Immigration Consulting, which will be holding seminars on immigration to Canada in Dublin on Friday September 6th from 3pm – 3.45pm and in Cork on Tuesday September 10th from 5pm – 5.45pm.

Canadian immigration consultant and CICS principal Alex Khadempour will detail the main routes through which Irish workers can obtain work permits and permanent residency in Canada and provide a layout of the Canadian labour market and what immigrants might expect to encounter when they arrive in the country.

The job expo will run from 11am to 4pm in the Croke Park Conference Centre in Dublin and from 12pm to 6pm in the Silver Springs Moran Hotel in Cork.

Irish Immigration Shift from Australia to Canada, Fuelled by Calgary’s Economy

Dublin, Ireland. Canada is becoming a more popular destination for Irish emigrants who have many of the skills in demand in Canada’s resource sectors (Jimmy Harris)

A story in Saturday’s Irish Times examines the increase in Irish immigration to Canada as the country’s workers seek employment abroad.

The article notes two trends in recent years: Canada being increasingly favoured by Irish emigrants over Australia and the age of the average Irish emigrant increasing:

“The most noticeable trend over the past 12 months has been the swing away from Australia towards Canada, which has been driven by the demand from employers and from the Canadian department of immigration,” says David Walsh, sales manager for the Working Abroad Expo. “They are going through a skills shortage, and in Calgary, the economic heartland of Canada, 19 of the 25 skillsets most in demand are readily available in Ireland. ”

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Everyone who speaks to The Irish Times for this article says the rising average age of emigrants and the number of families leaving are the most notable trends of recent months.

Of the 527 people at the Working Abroad Expo who responded to a survey by University College Cork’s Emigre project that traces recent emigration patterns, 44 per cent were over 30, and 14 per cent were 40 or older. More than one in five had mortgages in Ireland, and 27 per cent had children.

Canadian immigration authorities have made efforts to encourage Irish immigration, as the country’s nationals are seen to integrate quickly into the Canadian economy due to their high English language proficiency and cultural affinity to Canada.

Irish workers are also in demand by employers in many sectors in Canada due to having soft skills and technical expertise relevant to Canadian jobs, as a result of having acquired their work experience in Ireland’s advanced and Westernized economy.

The Calgary job engine

Calgary’s petroleum and gas industry is the draw for much of the Irish immigration to Canada. The city has the highest per capita GDP in Canada among the major cities and provides wages far above the Canadian average.

Many sectors in the Calgary region are experiencing difficulty in finding a sufficient number of workers with the necessary skills, which has prompted extensive campaigns to recruit abroad, including several delegations sent by Calgary-based companies to Ireland’s Working Abroad Expo last October.

Alberta’s economic growth is expected to exceed the G8 average over the coming years due to the projected increase in production in the oil sands region in the north of the province, which will likely continue to make Canada an attractive destination for immigrants from around the world.

Canadian Working Holiday Visa Quota For Ireland Filled in Two Days

A typical Irish town. Following earlier waves of Irish immigrants, Irish youth have taken up all 6,350 working holiday visas allocated by the International Experience Canada (IEC) program for 2013 in a record two days (Certo)

According to the National Post, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)’s 2013 quota of 6,350 work permits for Irish passport holders filled up in two days this month:

“It’s staggering; we all knew that the demand was going to be very high this year, but I don’t think anybody anticipated this,” said Cathy Murphy, executive director of the Toronto-based Irish Canadian Immigration Centre.

She called the surge in demand a sign of the “desperation of young people to get out.”

Last year, by contrast, it took Canada’s Irish embassy five months to hand out only 5,350 visas.

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program grants work permits, informally called ‘working holiday’ visas, of a duration of one to two years to young adults in participating countries. The program is reciprocal, with Canadian youth, usually defined as those 18-30 years of age, being eligible for working holiday visas in the counterpart country.

CIC announced last year that the quota for Irish work permits through the IEC would be upped to 6,350 in 2013, and 10,000 in 2014, from 5,350 in 2012.

The duration of Canada’s working holiday visa for Irish youth, which was previously one year, but for up to two separate visas, was also changed to a single two year visa, to make it easier for those working in Canada, as the change means they’re no longer required to disrupt their work schedule and leave Canada to re-apply for their second working holiday visa.

The moves were intended to attract more individuals from a group that is seen to quickly integrate into Canadian life and has the English language proficiency and the types of skills required in Canada’s economy, particularly in the skilled trades.

What was unexpected was how sought after the working holiday spots would be among young adults in Ireland.

The exploding demand for Canadian visas among Irish nationals likely stems from ongoing economic hardships in the EU that have been particularly pronounced in Ireland, as well as a media campaign by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney to promote Canada to the Irish, including an appearance on an Irish TV show last year.