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'When I went to college, I thought I could stay in Ireland. Not any more'

A STEADY stream of recent graduates looking for fresh opportunities abroad flocked to an education and career exhibition yesterday.

In the wake of a report by the Economic and Social Research Institute saying that 1,000 people a week were leaving Ireland in search of work, organisers of the Choices Expo 2011 at Dublin's Aviva Stadium said many visitors were inquiring about overseas educational and career opportunities as well as their options at home.

"People want to know if there's any light at the end of the tunnel, if there's any jobs out there," said Kevin Branigan, director of Learning Ireland.

David McEvoy (22), from Adamstown, Co Wexford, was among the young graduates queuing at the USIT booth for information on foreign work visas.

Mr McEvoy, who qualified as an architectural technologist at DIT last year, said he hoped to put his skills and qualifications to use in Canada due to the lack of opportunities here.

"I feel very angry. I invested four years in a course and I come out and do a little job and the money you can charge is crazy. I don't think the economy is ever going to come out of this recession," he told the Irish Independent.

"When I came into college I was hopeful of staying in Ireland but there is just no option now."

Michelle Duffy (21), from Moville, Co Donegal, and her college mate Edel Hoey (21), from Drumcar, Co Louth, were also in the queue at the USIT booth looking to flee Ireland.

They too said they felt angry, frustrated and betrayed by the economic mess.

Both women will qualify as registered dieticians when they graduate from the University of Ulster in June after a four-year degree course. But they never thought there would be no jobs for them upon graduation.

Irish Independent