Irish Workers Find Jobs, Find Canada Isn’t Utopia But Plan To Stay

Filed under: Finding a Job,International,Labor,News,The Economy,Unemployment |

From the Irish Independent comes this modern-day tale of what is age-old story for Irish workers.

Forced abroad by a lack of work at home, Irish workers are finding jobs abroad and sometimes new homes.

He tries not to think of how far away he is from home. But it’s always there in the back of his mind. Gary Mernagh moved to Winnipeg, Canada, last December. He had little choice — quantity surveyors are no longer required here in the numbers of before, but they are in demand the province of Manitoba.

Emigrants Leave Ireland by Henry Doyle, 1868. Two centuries later Irish workers are emigrating for work.

Emigrants Leave Ireland by Henry Doyle, 1868. Two centuries later Irish workers are emigrating for work.

Still, the 32-year-old from Wexford [Ireland] knows if he needs to get back to Ireland in an emergency he will have to go through several airports and pay for expensive internal flights.”You need to have a stash of cash if you get a call with bad news and you have to get home,” he says. “And it’s not like being in England and being able to jump on the next plane. You do feel a sense of isolation here.”

Gary is one of 87,000 people who emigrated from Ireland in the 12-month period up to April 2012. It is the highest yearly figure since 1987 — the height of the 1980s recession.

The exodus is set to continue with many people attending this weekend’s Working Abroad Expo at the RDS, Dublin, likely to secure positions with companies.

Many Canadian firms, particularly in engineering and construction — will be offering positions to our job-hungry young people. Men such as Gary Mernagh come ready-made for companies who have to look outside Canada to find suitable employees.

“It was hard saying goodbye, but the work had dried up so there was little alternative,” Gary says, matter-of-factly.

“I’m glad to have left the gloom of Ireland behind, but emigration is never easy. It’s emotionally draining — and it’s really tough financially too, especially in a country like this where rental property comes unfurnished and you have to be resident in Canada for some time before the banks even consider giving you a loan.”

Gary is happy with the life he and his Filipino wife Janet and their 19-month-old daughter Aisling have in Manitoba but he believes Irish emigrants should be prepared for a challenging bedding-in period.

“There isn’t a huge supply of rental accommodation and the lack of furnishings is a bit of a culture shock after Ireland,” he says.

“Had we moved in the summer we could have gone to loads of garage sales and picked up furniture on the cheap. But a December move meant we had to pay full whack.”
It also meant the couple had to get used to the harsh Canadian winter.

“Last winter was comparatively mild,” he says. “But the temperature would frequently go below -10C. That said, they’re really set up for the snow over here and life doesn’t grind to a halt when the weather gets harsh.”

Click here to Read the full story about Irish workers relocating to Canada

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