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    “Talent, Competitiveness, and Migration” focuses on policy issues

    Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

    “Talent, Competitiveness and Migration” has just been published by the Transatlantic Council on Migration. The publishers say:

    As the global economic crisis ripples across the financial, political and social landscape, it is leaving its mark on international migration. The recession, hailed as the worst since the Great Depression, is impacting the scope and pace of international migration and its effects could deepen should the world economy worsen.

    Governments, businesses and individuals have all felt the damaging consequences of the global downturn, which has shaken confidence in established institutions. The crisis is driving some policymakers and analysts in Europe and North America to re-think their assumptions about labor migration. Yet while policymakers face exceptionally strong popular and political outcry to protect jobs at home, they face mid-term demographic challenges. These two opposing policy pressures require responses that will not only help ease the current economic crisis, but will also secure the long-term prosperity of these regions.

    This book reflects the effort of the Transatlantic Council on Migration to map how profound demographic change is likely to affect the size and character of global migration flows; and how governments can shape immigration policy in a world increasingly attuned to the hunt for talent. This volume is the second major product of the Council.

    Order the book.

    “I never thought I’d have to leave”, says 23-year-old London-based emigrant

    Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

    A quick, disturbing vignette excerpted from Olivia O’Leary’s “Viewpoint” article on the BBC website.

    For James Mooney, 23, and his generation, the crash is particularly galling.

    While Mr Mooney was studying to be a surveyor, his lecturer told them they would all be millionaires by the time they were 35, such was the construction and property boom at the time.

    Instead he is one of the new breed of Irish emigrants, living in a house in London with five other Irish people in their twenties, in a position none of them ever dreamed they would face.

    “Getting dropped back to Dublin airport, that’s when it hits home, that you’re leaving again,” says Mr Mooney.

    “Sunday nights, flying back to London. I dread it.

    “You see the same faces at the airport now. I never thought I’d have to leave.”

    Read Olivia O’Leary’s article on the BBC website – “Ireland: boom to bust”

    “All it will take is a good job” – NZ journalist tells emigrant’s story

    Monday, May 18th, 2009

    The New Zealand Herald carries an interesting article on the Irish economy that has some particularly moving words about emigration. Journalist Ruaridh Nicoll tells the story of Michael Dermody, a 25-year-old Kilkenny man bound for Perth, Australia.

    Dermody tells the journalist, “A couple of years ago, I might have known two people in the whole of Australia. Now I know 30. I have about five or six friends in Perth alone, all within 15 km of my house.”

    Nicoll notes,

    As I travel round Ireland, I will be told that the boom has changed the country forever and, what with modern air travel, the exodus this time will be temporary. Yet technology, in the form of Facebook and Skype, is a powerful new agent in the emptying of villages. “Those who go are in contact with the lads back home,” Michael says. “They are telling us what a good time they are having, asking, ‘What’s keeping you?’.” The network that has always been so important in Ireland – ties of kinship and geography – now sucks the young away.

    Nicoll tells of Dermody’s departure:

    A little while before, Michael stood up from the farmhouse table, picked up a small rucksack and his hurling sticks, and said he’d best be going.

    His mother sat straight-backed, the pain hard in her eyes, her jaw set, as her son had a last gulp of tea. He tells me later that his parents “hadn’t really spoken” about his departure, “but my mother is unhappy”. This renewed emigration, after 15 years of migrants returning, horrifies the older generations. They know all it will take is a good job, a mortgage or a marriage to keep Michael abroad. “They want to know when I’ll be back, but I don’t know,” he says, as we head outside. “If it doesn’t work out in Perth, I wouldn’t be averse to New Zealand.”

    Read the whole article on the New Zealand Herald website: Wounded Tiger

    For information on moving to Australia, visit the Crosscare Migrant Project website.

    Recruiters warn of brain drain

    Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

    Brain drain will spread across the economy in the next few years, according to recruitment experts interviewed in the Irish Independent.

    A recruiter with Merc Partners claims that caps on banker remuneration may “lead to a brain drain of bank executives. The cap also makes it very difficult to attract talent from outside Ireland.”

    A recruiter with CPL notes that “highly skilled graduates . . . will not stay here if there are not good opportunities and a good quality of life”. She added that their healthcare business had seen increased inquiries into emigration to Britain and Australia.

    The issue is even more pressing for those in architecture and law, according to a director with Deloitte: “Certainly in the short-term, anyone who has studied architecture and law will have no choice but to emigrate.” Adding that civil engineers and quantity surveyors will also be forced to emigrate, the recruiter said, “This will include experienced and non-experienced people as these sectors have been hit drastically.”

    The evidence for such an increase is mixed, however, with many commentators noting that the global nature of the downturn is keeping many at home, despite a rise in media coverage and increased public interest in emigration.  It will be difficult to get an accurate picture until the CSO releases its annual Population and Migration Estimates later this year.

    Related web pages:

    Irish Independent: Ireland faces massive bank brain drain as wages fall

    ESRI predicts 17% unemployment next year

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

    The Economic and Social Reseaerch Institute is predicting unemployment reaching 15% by the end of this year before peaking at 17% next year. The organisation is estimating emigration figures will be 60,000 over the next two years. The Irish Independent notes that the organisations cautions, “It would be wrong to call that a forecast. It is more of an assumption, because migration is so hard to predict”.

    The ESRI also predicts that the economy will contract by 14% in the three years from 2008 to 2010, noting, “By historic and international standards, this is a truly dramatic development. Prior to this the largest decline for an idustrialised country since the 1930s had been in Finland, where real GDP declined between 1990 and 1993″.

    The CSO announced today that the unemployment rate now stands at 11.4%, with 388,600 people on the Live Register.  This is more than double the rate of a year ago.

    Related web pages:

    Global Irish Economic Forum to focus on growth, relationship

    Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

    The government is inviting leading Irish and Irish-connected individuals from around the world to attend the inaugural Global Irish Economic Forum on September 18-20. The planned conference, which will be held at Farmleigh in Dublin, is the latest in a series of events aimed at harnessing the economic power of the global Irish community.

    Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin said,

    “The primary purpose of the Forum will be to examine how the Irish, at home and abroad, can work together to generate ideas which will contribute to our overall efforts at economic recovery. It will also play a critical role in shaping the future direction of the relationship between Ireland and its Diaspora, particularly in the economic area”.

    Minister Martin noted that the conference is part of its strategy to engage more deeply with the diaspora:

    “Successive Irish Governments have built a multi-layered relationship with the global Irish community, one that has marked us out as a role model for many other countries.

    “The Forum will provide us with the opportunity to take Ireland’s relationship with the global Irish community in a new direction, to examine innovative ways of working together and to generate ideas for Ireland’s economic recovery. Now is the time to shape a more strategic relationship which will bring benefits both to Ireland and to our global community and which has a more developed economic focus.”

    “Our global Irish community constitutes one of the most powerful and far-reaching resources at our disposal and, using our worldwide network of Embassies and Consulates, we have identified some of the most successful individuals from that global community. They will bring with them an invaluable global perspective. To help facilitate discussion, a relatively small and tightly focused group of individuals is being invited.”

    The effort is complementing the Ireland-United States Strategic Review launched last month and the strategy for economic renewal outlined in “Building Ireland’s Smart Economy” in December.

    Related web pages:

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