As she prepares to lead a delegation from Ireland to Australia for St Patrick's week, guest blogger Avril McHugh, Marketing Director of CPL shares her thoughts on the opportunities now available for those Irish professionals in Australia who are considering a move back to Ireland.
Cpl Resources plc. is Ireland’s largest recruitment agency and a global provider of staffing, recruitment, training and outsourcing services. Through their One Tribe initiative, they are valued partners in the delivery of our Returning Migrants Program.
You long for your family, homemade brown bread and Barry’s tea – you’d even put up with the Irish weather if it meant moving home. So why haven’t you? For most people, the main deterrent is the availability of employment. It can be very difficult to take the plunge and make the move when you have been working hard at developing a successful career overseas – it feels a bit like diving into the unknown.
That’s where One Tribe comes in. One Tribe is a special online resource and concierge service helping Irish people to come #HomeToWork. Our aim is to support the Irish diaspora in every aspect of their move home, from finding work to providing information about accommodation and banking. One Tribe Founder Avril McHugh has been busy travelling to London, the US and Australia, working closely with our partners, to develop a well-rounded service to Irish expats around the world.
The great news for Irish people living abroad – you don’t have to sacrifice your career to move home. If anything, moving to Ireland could actually work wonders for you professionally. Here, Avril tells you why…
It’s where things happen
Move home to Ireland and work with your industry’s biggest movers and shakers. Ireland’s low tax rates, proximity to the EU and highly educated workforce make it Europe’s hotspot for the IT, Finance, Life Sciences and Pharmaceutical industries. 50% of the world’s leading Financial Services firms and nine out of the ten world-leading tech companies are based here. Cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking have also lead to a surge in start-ups, specialising in everything from big data and robot beer to blood analysis and superfoods. Things move quicker and you learn more when you work in this inspirational and trailblazing environment.
The economy is improving
When the Irish economy crashed, many people had no option but to pursue their careers overseas. Thankfully job prospects have drastically improved in recent years, with 1,300 new jobs created every week in 2015. Irish economic growth is currently three times the EU average and unemployment rates have consequently dropped to 8.8% in February 2016 from 15% in early 2012. Increased opportunities across all sectors mean that Ireland is once more a fantastic place to base yourself for your career. The Engineering, Construction, Science and Medical industries, in particular, are suffering from skills gaps and crying out for educated expats to return home and fill the void. These new jobs aren’t just in Dublin, often deemed the Silicon Valley of Europe – Enterprise Ireland reported that 64% of new jobs were created outside of the capital.
You can develop new skills
Ireland is also the perfect place to live if you want to get back to education and improve your skills. There is a strong focus on and investment in learning across all levels and subjects. Irish people who have been working in the EU for three of the last five years don’t have to pay tuition fees to third-level institutions. Registration fees of up to €3,000 may be required. Compare this with tuitions of up to $60,000 per year for top US universities or AU$42,000 for international fees in Australia! A small number of places on third-level courses are retained for mature students over the age of 23 and part-time and evening courses are prevalent in colleges across the countries. In a competitive market, many Irish companies recognise the importance of employee training and are also willing to fund professional courses.
There’s a better work/life balance
Irish people are known the world over for enjoying their down time. We work hard but we play hard too. The maximum legal working week is 48 hours, and everyone is entitled to at least 20 days’ annual leave each year. Most employers also award additional days off the longer you are with the company. This will be a massive perk if you have established your career in the US, where there is no minimum employee leave requirement and it can be hard to plan holidays. There is also a distinct social element to working in Ireland, which you may have missed abroad. Office banter and after-work socialising make the nine to five all the more enjoyable in many workplaces.
You can make more money
Irish employers are willing to reward those who have acquired valuable work experience abroad. Skills shortages mean that returning talent can look forward to high salaries in many industries. This is particularly true in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and technology sectors where employers are willing to pay the price for skilled workers. According to the Central Statistics Office, gross average wages have increased 1.8% year-on-year across all sectors – greater than predicted salary growth in the US and UK. With salaries expected to continue to rise cautiously, there’s never been a better time to move home to work.
So if you’re getting fed up with Skyping your loved ones and spending all your savings on flights home, maybe it’s about time you came back for good. The steady rise in job creation and salaries mean it could be the best thing for your career too. Really, it’s not so much a scary dive into the unknown, but rather a massive leap forward in your career, with your friends and family by your side. And what could be better than that?