The Department of Social Protection has sent more than 6,500 letters since the start of the year to jobseekers here telling them about job opportunities across Europe and in Canada.
Opposition spokesman Willie O’Dea, who requested the information through a parliamentary question, said the figure proves emigration is an essential tool for the Government in reducing its jobless total.
The jobs in Europe — for English teachers, plumbers, electricians, mechanics and roles in sales and hospitality — were available in Spain, Norway, France and Britain. In response to the parliamentary question, the department said: “As jobseekers apply for these vacancies through the EURES portal, it is not possible to know how many people applied for and secured employment using the service.”
However, in follow-up questions from the Irish Examiner, a spokeswoman was able to give some details of jobs secured following the issuance of letters:
- In April of this year, after the regional government in Madrid advertised for English teachers, 101 letters were issued and 13 Irish teachers began work in Madrid in September.
- A drive for roles in Euro Disney in France was even more successful. In 2012, 190 letters were issued and 107 people were selected. A second campaign in Mar 2013 saw 200 letters issued with 82 people taking up roles in hospitality and sales areas and also as fairground operators.
- An ongoing recruitment drive for plumbers in Norway has seen 500 letters issued and 160 plumbers placed on different contracts in Norway.
- Electricians for Norway were sought in May 2013 — 40 letters were issued and 15 people have been offered positions.
- More than 1,500 job vacancies were advertised in the British Midlands area and Germany for Jaguar Land Rover. So far 2,500 letters have been issued, though the department added the project is still at an early stage.
The roles are among more than one million jobs advertised Europe-wide at any one time under the EURES (European Employment Service) system.
Regarding the thousands of letters which it has issued, the department said it was drawing jobseekers attention to vacancies “that are simultaneously being brought to the attention of jobseekers in other countries”.
“The department would be failing in its duties if it did not offer Irish jobseekers an equal opportunity to compete for such vacancies if they so wish.”
A department spokes- woman said in a number of cases, the issuing of letters would help people living here to be able to return to jobs in their own countries.
The department also confirmed that ahead of a recent recruitment expo in Dublin and Belfast by construction firms in British Columbia, Canada, 2,500 letters were issued to jobseekers advising them of the more than 450 jobs that were on offer.
Details of letter recipients were assimilated through the EURES system and those who responded were automatically forwarded for interview. To date 90 people have taken up job offers.
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