The quota has increased for young Irish workers looking to come to Canada via the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Last year, 6350 visas were allocated and all spots were fill within 48 hours of being available. The government had planned to increase the quote for the IEC program to 10,000 by 2014. This goal will be reached by the addition of 4,000 visas after last year’s success.
In 2013, the IEC program experienced some changes. Previously, Irish citizens were allowed to participate in the IEC program twice and for a duration of up to 12 months. As of 2013, individuals can only participate in the program once, but for up to 24 months. That the program is available to Irish citizens under the age of 35. As well, the Government of Canada will give 24-72 hours notice before the program opening date.
In 2012, Minister Jason Kenney visited Ireland to promote Canada as a land of opportunity for young workers. The Irish economy has had difficulties recovering from the 2008 recession and for this reason, many skilled workers are looking abroad for work. According to Kenney, Canada is experiencing a need for skilled labour, particularly in the western provinces, and encourages many Irish citizens to apply through the ICE program.
“Employers in Canada are increasingly identifying Ireland as a great source of talent, hard-working, highly-educated folks who are culturally compatible,” explained Jason Kenney, former Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. “They can walk in and get to work the day they arrive, so it’s just I think a natural choice for the employers.”
Many resources exist for Canadian companies looking to hire international workers. For instance, Move2Canada is an immigrant-recruiting agency that focuses many efforts on Ireland. Their role is essentially to assist Canadian companies find international talent. For more information on their services, click here.
Canada’s potential jump in applicants to 10,000 would mean Canada would become the most popular country for Irish emigrants. Currently, Australia holds the number one position. Reasons for Canada’s increasing popularity may include the fact that the working holiday applicants are allowed to bring dependents with them.