USI Calls on Political Parties to Get Serious about Emigration Problem

 

The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is calling on all major political parties to “get real” about tackling the emigration crisis that is forcing young Irish people to leave the country in their thousands.

Figures released this morning by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) reveal that some 50,000 people will emigrate this year, and over 25,000 jobs will be lost.

In the first quarter of 2010, 65,300 people left the country. Approximately the same number of people emigrated in 2009. This is just below the 70,600 people who emigrated in 1989, a year when unemployment stood at almost 18 per cent.

Ireland’s emigration rate is the highest in the EU, with nine people per 1,000 leaving the State. This is almost double the second-highest, in Lithuania. In stark contrast, during the Celtic Tiger, Ireland’s immigration rate was the EU’s second highest.

This mass exodus of Irish graduates is benefitting English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US, who are using the huge influx of young, highly educated Irish emigrants to increase domestic economic growth.

As yet, none of the major political parties have produced a comprehensive strategy to tackle the emigration crisis.

USI is challenging each party to “get real” about the issue before another generation of young Irish is forced to leave these shores in search of opportunity.

USI President, Gary Redmond, said:

“It is absolutely disgraceful that young people are being forced to emigrate to find a decent standard of living. The continued brain drain of our best and brightest threatens to delay the economy’s recovery and undermine public services. In the HSE alone, a severe shortage of junior doctors will severely damage its ability to deliver services this year and in the future.

These lost graduates have been educated at great expense to the Irish taxpayer. They should represent our best hope for economic recovery. It will be these graduates who reignite the fire of economic growth. However a lack of jobs, particularly for the younger generation, is causing many people, who don’t want to emigrate, to leave their families in search of a new start.

USI is calling on all political parties to come to terms with the severity of this crisis before we allow another generation to become mere emigration statistics. We are challenging each political party to propose comprehensive strategies that will create the types of jobs that can lure these talented people back.”

Ends

For further information, please contact:

 

Gary Redmond, USI President:                      087 9606130

Gillian Tsoi, USI Communications Officer:    01 7099300

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