Canadian bosses arrive to sign up recruits
A Canadian province is planning a jobs mission to Ireland in two months to encourage Irish workers to join their booming economy.
The government of Saskatchewan is finalising the trip after employers expressed an interest in looking for Irish workers.
The jobs mission is likely to come to Ireland in March to coincide with several work fairs.
Employment and Immigration Minister Rob Norris says "the level of skills and the kind of knowledge base and the sound, really impressive, educational system in Ireland" is behind the new initiative.
About 10 Saskatchewan employers have shown "significant interest" in recruiting Irish workers for a variety of areas including trades, health sciences and engineering.
Mr Norris explained that for the Province government to get involved in recruitment mission "employers need to collectively have at least 75 to 100 jobs they can offer".
Employers are also looking for workers from Greece and the US, but no specific plans are under way to target those countries.
Saskatchewan has an Immigrant Nominee Programme (NPD) which can nominate qualified applicants for immigrant status and speed up their entry into Canada.
Mr Norris says the goal is not just to find temporary foreign workers but to nominate people through the scheme who want to live in Saskatchewan and "call the province home". Those opposed to the scheme say they want to see details of what is involved in the Irish trip, including costs.
NDP critic Cam Broten says the government needs to ensure programming is in place to help people already in Saskatchewan who are looking for work.
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce CEO Steve McLellan emphasises that the need for skilled workers in Saskatchewan "isn't waning, and won't anytime soon".