Working Abroad Expo organiser: Government should help fund trips
Stephen McLarnon, organiser of the Working Abroad Expo which takes place in Dublin and Belfast later this month, believes the Irish Government should help recent graduates and young unemployed people through the current economic downturn by part-funding "gap year"-style trips as is being considered by the British government.
Speaking at the launch of the Working Abroad Expo, McLarnon said the Government should look to copy or even better the scheme being launched shortly by Lord Mandelson’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which will provide part-funding for up to 500 participants to participate in development projects overseas.
Launching a ‘gap year matching scheme’ to the under 25s "would offer immediate savings to the growing social welfare bill while also assisting young unemployed people to gain new experiences and return to Ireland with something to offer" said McLarnon.
The forthcoming Working Abroad Expo is the only event of its kind in Ireland and is designed to assist thousands of Irish people thinking of emigrating and starting a new life abroad with more than 45 specialist exhibitors, including Government bodies, migration officials, recruitment agencies and relocation experts scheduled to offer advice and assistance on starting a new life abroad.
The two-day event is already receiving plenty of interest from people seeking to ride out the recession by going on "paycation" – using their redundancy money and new-found liberty on round-the-world trips and volunteering projects overseas.
Exhibitors will include USIT, YHA, GapAdvice.org, VSO (Volunteering Services Overseas), and Conservation Africa. TEFL specialists like i-to-i and EIL, will offer information on the opportunities in teaching English abroad as a foreign language.
The Canadian High Commission, Immigration New Zealand (Govt) and state governments from Australia will be on hand to outline Irish citizens’ visa options.
Employers and recruitment specialists such as Global Trade Search and Fisher & Paykel (NZ) will outline job opportunities overseas. ACTS (Australian Construction Training Services), Engineering Training Australia and Chef Central will provide advice to tradespeople on meeting the increasingly-high standards of Australian industry by having their skills formally assessed.
"These are undoubtedly challenging times but opportunities do exist and the Working Abroad Expo is designed to give people options, separate the myths from reality and give people the full information they need for starting a better life abroad," said McLarnon.
The Working Abroad Expo takes place from 11am- 5pm on Saturday, 19 September and Sunday, 20 September in the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 and from 1pm-7pm in the Europa Hotel Belfast on Tuesday, 22 September and Wednesday, 23 September. Tickets are €10. Further information is available on www.workingabroad.ie