Queues at jobs fair as 6,000 seek work overseas
LIKE thousands of other Irish families who went before them, they are preparing for emotional goodbyes and heading off to seek their fortune abroad.
The Ward family are emigrating to Australia -- and for father James the move can't come soon enough.
With wife Sharon and children Sofia (5), Sarah (2) and Alexander (19 months), he is also preparing for emotional goodbyes to friends and family.
"We've had enough, there's nothing here for me workwise," said James, from Raheny, Dublin 5, who attended yesterday's 'Working Abroad' exhibition at the RDS in Dublin.
Mr Ward set up his own sustainable energy company -- Future-Proof -- five years ago but with the demise of the construction industry, the work has dried up, he said.
Mrs Ward has a job as a special needs assistant but is worried about the future that faces her children and believes that there are better opportunities Down Under.
"Who knows, but if we stayed here they might have to emigrate anyway," she said.
The Ward family were amongst an estimated 6,000 people who attended the weekend jobs fair.
The most recent official figures from the Central Statistics Office show that 27,700 of 65,300 emigrants who left the country in the year ended April 2010 were Irish.
However, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), has estimated that 1,000 are leaving this country every week to find work abroad.
Expo event director Stephen McLarnon said that the age profile visiting the RDS had changed over the past seven years.
"It's now the 28- to 35-year age group and we are seeing more families," he said.