Hunt for skilled Irish emigrants


Shelley Marsden

Ireland has literally thousands of jobs for suitably qualified people in IT and financial services, according to leading recruitment agencies targeting Irish emigrants here and in Australia.

The pendulum of emigration, prompted by unemployment and poor job prospects since 2008, has swung so far that many large and specialist firms in Ireland are complaining of a “brain drain”.

Recruitment agencies are now seeking to lure back skilled Irish emigrants with expertise in IT and various financial services – in some cases at a premium of seven per cent compared to equally qualified peers without the overseas experience.

Austin Hughes, Chief Economist at KBC Bank Ireland, told the Irish World that though there was still, uniquely, a two-way migration in Ireland which was unique to countries in the westernised world, Irish workers in certain sectors of the workforce will find the job market back home a favourable one.

Though there has been a moderate improvement in Irish labour conditions from 2012 to 2013, Hughes said unemployment and the ‘brain drain’ effect is still evident with emigration to Britain and further afield. He cited Ireland’s construction industry as one area that is still suffering badly, and which will take some years to recover.

In certain areas, however, such as IT and parts of the financial services sector, the position is much better, he said, with companies often having more positions available than skilled workers to fill them.

Irish emigrants returning to fill these specific posts, he said, can certainly command a premium.

KBC Bank and Chartered Accountants Ireland published a joint report last month pointing to signs of a recovery in Ireland’s job market.

It said that in the second quarter of this year business hiring has stepped up and layoffs, firings and redundancies have been noticeably lower. The survey also saw a marked improvement in business sentiment towards the Irish economy.

According to the Jobs Index for Q2 2013, the number of jobs advertised online increased by 7 per cent in the second quarter.

The Irish subsidiary of UK recruitment firm Robert Walters is hoping to lure back Irish emigrants who have been working abroad in the financial sector and is holding job fairs for Irish workers in Australia this month.

For the full article, see this week’s Irish World newspaper (issue 10 August 2013).



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