Ireland’s government has come under fire for actively encouraging emigration of skilled workers. The Department of Social Protection send out letters to the unemployed advertising vacancies across Europe, and many jobseekers are taking up the roles abroad.
So far this year 82 people left for sales positions at Disneyland Paris after 200 letters were issued by the government. 160 Irish plumbers and 15 electricians are now employed in Norway as a result of 500 letters, and 13 teachers have moved to Madrid from 101 letters issued.
Trade Unions and opposition politicians has slammed the scheme, pointing out that the Irish economy has little chance of making a full recovery without its key workforce.
The Department of Social Protection defended their role by pointing out that they were legally obliged to advertise the jobs, under the European Employment Service scheme. A spokesperson for Social Protection Minister Joan Burton added that the scheme did work in reverse also, and advertised roles in Ireland to jobseekers in Europe.
Critics accept that jobseekers cannot be blamed for going where the work is, but say it is a worrying trend for Ireland and its government.
The Irish economy has begun to recover but it’s widely accepted that much more progress is needed before it can return to full employment.