IS Canada the new Australia? For the Irish it might well be.
While we may have naturally gravitated towards Down Under when it came to pastures new, Canada is playing catch-up. And fast. Canadian employers have flocked here in a bid to woo Irish immigrants in search of jobs -- and a new life. "I have definitely noticed an increase of Irish immigrants in the past few months," says Cathy Murphy, of the Irish Canadian Immigration Centre in Toronto.
"Skilled tradesmen and women find they get hired much faster than those in the financial sector, marketing, architecture, engineering. The Irish on construction sites are greatly valued. The work ethic is strong and Irish labourers seem willing and able to work long days. Most companies here are impressed."
With several Canadian cities making up the top 10 best cities to live in worldwide, it's no surprise that Canada is proving popular with young Irish people looking for work.
"Very few are here in Canada for the party experience," says Cathy. "The experience here has been very different to Australia. This is partly because it takes a bit longer to get a visa for Canada so those coming have to be patient -- it is not an impulsive decision and they put some planning in place. We also do not see the very young ones coming. I see mostly those over 24." Here, we speak to four Irish workers who have hotfooted to Canada in search of a better life.
And with the unspoilt scenery, friendly folk and buzzing cities, they've found much to love about their new adoptive homeland ...
See www.actyl.com for details on emigrating to Canada