Back to Your Future
By Irish America Staff
February / March 2001
As the Irish economy continues to rise, the government is campaigning in the United States to fill thousands of job openings.
On St. Patrick’s weekend they will hold a two-day recruitment exhibition in New York. “We’re selling Ireland. We’re saying to people come back. We’re not saying you’re going to get what you’re getting in the US. But you’re going to get quality of life. You’re going to get to live back in your own country. You’re going to get an education system, a health system that is free, unlike here,” Gregory Craig, head of FAS, Jobs Ireland’s parent agency, said in an interview with Jim Colgan of The Irish Voice.
FAS has already held successful job fairs in London, Berlin, Prague, Australia, Newfoundland, and South Africa.
“The key to a successful recruitment drive,” Craig continued, “is making it clear that it is not just information technology positions that need to be filled. Jobs in construction, nursing, catering and other areas are in need of workers.”
Twenty-five companies will take part, interviewing on the spot, and in many cases offering attractive relocation packages to those willing to make the move back home.
Northern Ireland will also participate in the convention. Back To Your Future, FAS’s counterpart in the North, will also have a major presence at the fair.
And unlike the South, the campaign is aimed specifically at luring skilled technology workers back. “Four out of ten young people who trained in Northern Ireland left to work elsewhere, but now unemployment is falling rapidly,” said Celia Chamber of the Northern agency, who credited the Good Friday Agreement with the upward trend in the economy.
“We’re reversing the famine,” Craig added, saying that “to come here and say the whole island is looking for its emigrants both North and South to come back – to say that the whole island is doing so well, it is tremendous.” ♦