The Celtic Tiger’s roar has shrunk to a mere meow as Ireland plunges deeper into recession.
GDP figures for the final quarter of last year show the economy shrank 7.5 percent from a year earlier giving Ireland the worst full-year performance on record. That has driven up attendance at events like this week’s overseas jobs fairs in Dublin and Cork where countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand were looking to attracted skilled workers: As one fair visitor said: “I’m a qualified mechanic, so, the way things are going here right now, who knows, in the next couple of months I may be without a job.” Another, who was there with his family to check out overseas opportunities, said: “We looking to go to probably Ontario in Canada. The reason is that work has died down a little bit. We’re looking for a change, we’re looking for a better life for our baby Liam and hopefully it would be better in Canada than it would be here.” With the Dublin government forecasting GDP will contract by 6.5 percent this year, countries like Australia are hoping to cherry-pick the skills they need. : Liz O’Hagen, is an Australian government Migration Agent: “Each state in Australia has their own skill shortage list and that (list) will have a number of occupations on it. For example, Western Australia is still actively looking for bricklayers, plasterers, engineers and IT professionals. There is a broad range of occupations on that.” With Irish unemployment at a 12-year high of 10.4 percent, attendees at the jobs fairs included citizens from other European countries who had moved to Ireland for work in the past but who now need to move on.