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Young Irish workers flocking to Canada

Like the many Irish migrants who arrived years before, Seamus Blake left his tiny coastal village in Ireland five weeks ago in search of greener pastures in Toronto.

Like the many Irish migrants who arrived years before, Seamus Blake left his tiny coastal village in Ireland five weeks ago in search of greener pastures in Toronto.

No potato famine or decades-long political conflict drove him here.

Instead, a steady influx of young Irishmen and women like Blake, 24, is arriving here in desperate search of work, fleeing their own country’s 14 per cent jobless rate, an after-effect of the 2008 global financial crisis and economic recession.

Blake, 24, who graduated from Leeds University with a master’s degree in financial mathematics last year, arrived a year after his older brother David landed in Vancouver, also with a work permit.

“At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be any jobs for new graduates in Ireland,” said a despondent Blake, a native of tiny Liscannor, on Ireland’s west coast. “From what I heard, Canada’s economy has already bounced back and it’s full of opportunities.”

Eamonn O’Loghlin, executive director of the Ireland Canada Chamber of Commerce in Toronto, receives several emails and phone calls a week these days from his countrymen, some his “lost friends and relatives,” exploring prospects in Canada.

“I try to be realistic and tell people that the job market is tight here as well, but it is easier if you have the education, skills and network in business,” said O’Loghlin.

 
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