If you were on social media over the Christmas and New Year period you may have noticed #HomeToWork trending. #HomeToWork is a new Government initiative launched over the festive period intended to encourage Irish emigrants back for the holidays to return permanently to Ireland to live and work.
Irish airports were targeted with advertising campaigns all featuring the #HomeToWork hashtag and more advertisements are likely to follow under this campaign as the Government has set a target of 70,000 to return to these shores by 2020.
Indeed, this figure could very well be achievable. Taoiseach Enda Kenny claimed recently at the Global Irish Economic Forum that 2016 will be the first year since 2008 that the number of Irish people returning from abroad would outnumber those leaving.
The need for the #HomeToWork campaign comes as more than 1,000 jobs are being created each week. There are also skills shortages in key industry sectors, particularly in IT and pharma. The Irish Times claim that “the Government and employers realise encouraging foreign nationals to plug gaps by relocating here isn’t enough” and that this is leading the drive to encourage the Irish abroad to come home.
The Taoiseach said that his job in government “is to make [Ireland] more attractive to so that people abroad will say, ‘I want to come back’.”
The campaign clearly draws inspiration from the #HomeToVote campaign during 2015’s equal marriage referendum. One commentator on the Financial Times coverage of the new scheme said: “In our own way, there is something very attractive about Ireland. It’s a great place to be, but it is a very abstract thing. All those young people came home to vote. Will they come home to work?”
“In our own way, there is something very attractive about Ireland,” Mr King says. “It’s a great place to be, but it is a very abstract thing. All those young people came home to vote. Will they come home to work?”
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