May 14, 2006

Czech Workers moving to Ireland

Ireland is among the most powerful EU exporters, mainly in the field of software. In 2002, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) figures, it was the world’s top leading producer and exporter of software, followed by the United States.

Of the 70,000 foreign workers every year that Ireland is looking to attract through 2011, the most sought-after are those in the high-tech industries, as well as in the construction, health care, tourism and transportation sectors.

Earning potential

Czechs might well be tempted to work on the Emerald Isle after a quick comparison of potential earnings; the Irish minimum wage is five times that of the Czech figure. In Ireland, the minimum wage is fixed at € 7.65 per hour (K? 215), which means an approximate monthly salary of € 1,224 (K? 34,643). In the Czech Republic, the minimum monthly salary is K? 7,185.

The booming economy, or “Irish miracle,” has already prompted nearly 6,000 Czechs to relocate. According to the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, 5,761 Czechs were employed in Ireland in 2005, and the numbers are increasing.

“We’re open to all kind of social categories, but mainly to youth, as they are less constrained by family responsibilities,” Hamill said, adding that a huge advantage Czech relocated workers have is that they can always return freely to their home country, which wasn’t the case 20 years ago.

“Czechs and Irish people are very connected as far as mentality and lifestyle. Our common Celtic roots make the integration much easier,” Hamill said. (Celts had settled in Bohemia by the 5th Century B.C.)

Last year, the economic relations between Ireland and the Czech Republic intensified, with a 25 percent increase in bilateral trade. Major Czech industries use Irish software, mainly in the banking field, while Škoda Auto has become a familiar make for Irish taxi drivers.

“Our openness has been a powerful engine for growth,” claimed Hamill. “It took 30 years for Ireland to become an ‘overnight success,’ but we did it,” he said.

Ireland wants workers to ?know before they go?

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