Belfast Telegraph

1,000 Irish moving to UK every month

Job-hunting emigrants also target Canada and Australia

Up to 1,000 people from the Republic of Ireland are emigrating to Britain every month to find work, with the numbers expected to escalate in the new year.

Official figures also show that the number emigrating to Canada trebled between 2000 and 2009, while the number travelling to Australia to work rose 80pc since 2007 -- although most of those are temporary one-year visas.

New figures obtained by the Irish Independent showed that 5,630 Irish nationals registered to work in the United Kingdom in the first six months of this year.

The figures came from the UK Department of Work and Pensions and were based on national insurance numbers issued to immigrants.

They revealed that 11,050 Irish people emigrated to Britain last year and the numbers increased steadily over recent years -- rising by 37pc since 2002 when they were at 8,090 a year.

However, these figures for emigration would be greatly increased if they included building workers from Ireland who work in the black economy in England.

Immigration figures from Canada revealed that 3,462 Irish people got residency there last year, of which 2,959 were on temporary immigrant visas and 503 got permanent residency.

Australian government figures showed that 1,530 permanent settlers from Ireland arrived in the financial year 2008-2009.

The number of people travelling there on one-year working holiday visas also soared to 22,786, up from less than 13,000 three years ago.

The German government press office said that around 600 Irish nationals had emigrated to Germany during 2009, while another 1,200 had arrived between 2006 and 2008.

Some 1,708 Irish emigrants also got permanent resident status in the United States, but it is believed the traditional flow of illegal workers from Ireland has largely dried up due to dwindling opportunities there and tighter controls.

Huge numbers of newly qualified apprentices are emigrating to find work and English-speaking destinations such as Britain, Australia and Canada were the most popular options, said Eamonn Devoy, general secretary of the TEEU which represents 45,000 electricians, plumbers and builders.

Working in Britain would always be an attractive option for Irish workers and construction work for the London Olympics was adding to that, he said.

The level of emigration by skilled workers is such that the TEEU now runs training courses to prepare electricians for work overseas -- as, for instance, in Australia there were very different electrical regulations, health and safety rules and licence requirements.

"It's an odd situation for us to be in but we just want to make sure people can hit the ground running," he said.

The scale of emigration has been a contentious issue amongst economic bodies in recent months and the Central Statistics Office refused to give an estimate in its survey on the Irish workforce published last week.

The Economic and Social Research Institute predicted recently that net migration from Ireland would be 60,000 next year.

The Crosscare agency, which provides advice to emigrants, said that while the numbers availing of their service had not increased significantly in recent months they expected it to rise significantly in the new year as that was always a time people looked at their prospects.

Canada, Australia and the US remained the most popular destinations.

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