Jobseekers chase greener pastures Down Under
EVEN property developers who have fallen on hard times could find opportunities abroad, if the promises of a jobs recruitment fair over the weekend could be believed.
Representatives from New Zealand firms were looking to recruit Irish engineers for the major redevelopment of Christchurch after the earthquake two years ago.
The demolition work has largely been done and now the challenge lies in rebuilding the city into a more efficient, greener and better city.
There are more than 20 jobs open for Irish engineers -- but there could also be opportunities for property developers, said Richard Holyoake of New Zealand Engineering Consultancy, Beca.
He explained that €15bn had been set aside to rebuild the city, with much of the money coming from insurance payouts.
However, some developers were "taking the money and running," he claimed, adding that that was a major problem faced by the city.
As a result, Mr Holyoake said: "There are potentially opportunities for Irish developers."
Thousands of people attended a major recruitment fair at Dublin's RDS over the weekend. Afraid of the same chaotic scenes at the Working Abroad Expo last March, a number of people even queued up from 2am in order to be sure of early entry on Saturday morning, revealed organisers.
The fair this time was quieter, with one employment exhibitor venturing a guess that "everybody has already gone".
This time, there seemed to be more people in their 30s and young families thinking of taking the plunge to go abroad in search of greater stability and a better future.
Dublin couple David (36), a processor manufacturer in engineering, and wife Emma Williams (35), a doctor, have already got their Australian visas and are gearing up to leave the country in January with their four-month-old baby Ada.
Made redundant two years ago, David has only been able to get 11-month contracts, while cuts in the health sector means Emma no longer gets paid for overtime.
The couple are hoping for a better quality of life Down Under.
"Hopefully the grass is greener," said David, adding that they can always come home if it doesn't work out.
Couple Olivia and Eugene Lawless from Cavan said they felt it was time to leave this country and are willing to go "anywhere there's a job".
"I have a job but I'll follow him wherever he wants to go," said Olivia.
"We queued for six hours last year so we booked our tickets this time," she added.
Canadian Federal Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenny, attended the Dublin expo and was "very impressed" with the standard of Irish workers.
Jobs on offer in Canada range from traditional engineering posts in gas and oil industries to healthcare, arts, TV and even turkey farming.
Declan McDonagh (27), an architectural technologist from Dublin, said he was working in an office here but also kept on a weekend job as a bar man because his work felt so "precarious".
He was looking for a fresh challenge and said Canada or New Zealand could fit the bill.