IRISH young people are rushing Down Under -- with the number of work visas granted to Ireland surging by 50pc since last year.
Almost 22,000 temporary visas were granted to Irish nationals in the first six months of this year, according to the Australian Immigration Department.
This is a huge leap on last year's figure of just under 15,000 work visas.
Irish nationals aged 18-30 are subscribing to work programmes in their thousands, with many taking up well-paid positions on farms.
The work programmes allow young people to work for up to six months with an employer.
Daniel Lucas, of the Backpackers Association of New South Wales, said that Irish people tend to land employment very easily in Australia.
"The Irish are a smart market. When they come here, they manage to plug themselves into the jobs network really quickly."