Hundreds flock to jobs fair

Pictured at the Options Inishowen Jobs Fair is: 'Left to right Denise McCool Inishowen Development Partnership, Mayor of Buncrana Nicholas Crossan, Mary McGeehan, Inishowen Dev Partership, Back Donal Dunn Department of Social Protection, Thomas Timlin Department of Social Protection, Semus McGinley Dept of Social Protection Facitallor.

Pictured at the Options Inishowen Jobs Fair is: 'Left to right Denise McCool Inishowen Development Partnership, Mayor of Buncrana Nicholas Crossan, Mary McGeehan, Inishowen Dev Partership, Back Donal Dunn Department of Social Protection, Thomas Timlin Department of Social Protection, Semus McGinley Dept of Social Protection Facitallor.

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Just five local jobs were advertised at an Inishowen jobs fair held this week, with the majority of advertisements for jobs ‘Down Under’.

On four boards featuring job vacancies shockingly there was hardly any for jobs in the peninsula. And Thomas Timlin, Employment Services Officer for the Department of Social Protection said it’s no surprise as work has grinded to a halt and more and more people are looking to emigrate.

He said there’s an overwhelming number of young people and families seeking to emigrate to Australia, Canada and America where there is work.

The fourth Options Inishowen Education Training and Jobs Fair, held at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel on Wednesday, attracted hundreds of jobless from the peninsula,

Mr Timlin said he has noticed a considerable change - in terms of vacancies - at the fair since it was set up four years ago.

He said while there’s been a shift in vacancies advertised for abroad opposed to Inishowen he also said there’s been a change in the calibre of clients looking for work.

He told the Journal: “I definitely think it is different (today than when we set up four years ago) in terms of the calibre of the client.

“It is certainly a more qualified client that we’re seeing. There are people here with degrees, masters, PHDs and they’re finding it extremely difficult to gain employment.

“From a young person’s point of view they can emigrate and they don’t have as many commitments and ties but for a family to make the move abroad - which many are considering - it is more difficult for them to get up and leave. It has an impact on the whole family, even grandparents.”

Des Gallen, Employment Service Manager, for the Department of Social Protection, reckons the area’s nearly reached rock bottom in terms of emigration.

But said for those emigrating it’s a different story altogether than what it was back in the 80s.

He told the Journal: “The big difference now, since the 80s, is that it will probably be a positive thing in that people leaving now are skilled tradesmen or well educated professionals. And that means they’re highly sought after and going to places of employment.

“There’s no question about it that today’s Australia is now the ‘America’ of the 80s and the ‘America’ is now the England of the 80s.

“People do not regard the prospect of moving as a problem like before because travel is so accessible now.”

Mr Gallen said while the area’s unemployment levels were stabilising he feared it is a result of the continued number of people losing jobs being augmented by people emigrating or emigrants - to Ireland - returning home.