As Europe's economic woes continue linger, thousands of people in Ireland are packing their bags and boarding planes destined for Australia, "the land of opportunity" as many of the Irish now call it. In particular, Irish men and women with the skills and experience to work in the thousands of jobs created by Australia's resources boom are finding Australia a far more stable place to live than Ireland, currently.
The Age goes in to further detail;
Last year, about 17,000 Irish settled in Australia, a third more than settled here in 2010 and up more than 60 per cent from 2008, when a banking crisis pummelled house prices and employment.
Philomena Murray, an expert on Europe at Melbourne University, said commentators in Ireland were talking about a ''lost generation'', many of whom were coming to Australia.
''It's economic migration. Ireland is losing an entire generation of its workers,'' Professor Murray said. ''The push factor is lack of jobs. The pull factor is that Australia appears to be very much a land of opportunity.''
She said Australia was benefiting from highly educated Irish migrants who often came to stay. ''We have to keep in mind that it is very difficult to get into Australia and so what we are looking at is people coming with professional qualifications.''
Mary McFadden, 43, moved here 28 weeks pregnant in April last year. Her husband, a manager at an energy company, couldn't get work in Ireland and visa rules stopped her moving with him to the United States. When his work sponsored them to Australia, she said, ''not knowing where we were going to live, not knowing anybody, it was a bit of a challenge''.
But at the mothers' group at Northcote's Australian Irish Welfare Bureau, she said the family of four was now thriving. ''It's a good way of life.''
Migration has increased less dramatically from the other debt-affected European countries. Department of Immigration statistics show that temporary arrivals and settler numbers from Portugal, Italy and Spain have climbed moderately since 2008.
Tina Douvos-Stathopoulos, of the Australian Greek Welfare Society, said the society had been flooded with inquiries on moving to Australia.
To read the full article at The Age, click here.
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