Families queue up for new life abroad
Hundreds of people who want to get a new start in life away from Ireland yesterday converged on the RDS looking for work overseas.
The queue into the Work Abroad Expo began long before it opened as eager backpackers and students seeking adventure were joined by mums and dads with buggies and the middle-aged jobless who believe they are better off leaving Ireland.
Among the exhibitors were agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US.
A popular destination for many appeared to be the southern hemisphere and groups of young parents, with their boisterous children in tow, waited patiently in line at the 'Escape to Australia' stand. Recent natural disasters in the region has boosted demand for construction workers in Australia and New Zealand and Fulton Hogan, one of Australasia's leading construction and contracting firms, was prominent among the various employers eager to hire skilled workers.
Stephen McLarnon, an emigration expert of workingabroad.net commented on the large number of young couples and families at the Expo this year.
"Whereas in previous years, it would have been young holidaymakers looking into working abroad or leaving for adventure, now almost 50 per cent of our market here would be people in their 30s with young families," Mr McLarnon said.
There was a large presence of Irish teachers, and most were gloomy about their job prospects if they stayed in Ireland. Teachers Ailis Short and Aisling Murnaghan, from Monaghan, spoke of the uncertainty in Ireland as they waited to get information about visas for Canada.
Ms Short said: "We're both currently in temporary work as substitute teachers but as there is no permanent work, we're thinking about going to Canada or maybe Australia.
"We've seen many TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) stands here today, which could be an option or even a one-year working holiday and see where it could go from there."
Leah Flanagan, a primary teacher from Tallaght, said she was thinking about relocating to Canada or New Zealand. "I'm here because I might not have a job in primary school teaching in Ireland in the future. I do believe now is the time to go.
"If I was to relocate abroad I would still like to do primary teaching even if I can't do it in Ireland," Ms Flanagan said.
College undergraduates were also planning their futures away from Ireland.
DIT Marketing students Darragh Ryan, from Castleknock, and Aisling Leonard, from Wicklow, both 22, said that they would definitely be leaving, and the majority of their class are also thinking about going to go work abroad after graduating.