Irish professionals lured to Australia in their droves

Huge demand for tradespeople in AustraliaWith the slow-down in construction here, there has never been a better time for Irish tradespeople to move down under, writes Debbie O'Halloran.

There has been a huge increase in the number of Irish people migrating to Australia, up to 4,000 a year; the main reason being better job prospects and quality of life. And it's not just single people going over for a year on a working holiday visa - entire families are relocating to all over Australia.

With a warm sunny climate, good quality of life and annual salaries in excess of €100,000, Irish professionals are being lured to Australia in their droves.

Tradespeople currently in most demand are plumbers, electricians, carpenters, bricklayers, fitters, plasterers, welders, bakers, butchers, cabinet makers, chefs, mechanics and hairdressers. Professionals are also in demand with nurses, doctors, dentists, accountants, engineers, solicitors, marketing managers and teachers in most demand.

Irish tradesmen and professionals who have already relocated to Australia are hitting the ground running, with a new report revealing that skilled migrants are gaining employment, adjusting to the Oz lifestyle and finding their feet faster than ever.

The recent “longitudinal survey” by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship found that after 18 months in Australia, employment rates for skilled migrants are well above the already astounding national average of 97 per cent.

According to visa specialist, Australian migration has been immensely popular for Irish skilled migrants in recent years thanks to their streamlined immigration scheme and current demand for qualified workers. provides free migration assessments on their website along with relocation services such as organising accommodation and job placements in Australia and New Zealand.

There are 50,000 Irish-born residents in Australia, while as many as 30 per cent of Australians claim some degree of Irish ancestry, according to the Australian embassy in Dublin.

The average profile of the Irish migrant to Australia is a 32 year old tradesperson with a wife and two children.

In addition, some 5,000 people left these shores for Australia in 2006 to work on a general skilled migrant visa, while 12,500 went on a working holiday. 

According to's Barry Dowling, "The average profile of the Irish migrant to Australia is a 32 year old tradesperson with a wife and two children." Australian employers are most interested in Irish people who are under 45 and have work experience or qualifications for an occupation on the migration occupations in demand list (MODL) or other specialist occupations on the skilled occupation list, he says.

To qualify, migrants need at least 18 months' work experience in the occupation listed. Workers who do not have the paperwork to prove their qualifications for the job need at least six years' relevant work experience. And unlike emigrants on a sponsorship visa, holders of a skilled migrant visa can work for whoever they want or even set up their own business.

Irish tradespeople often command an annual wage of €100,000

Irish tradespeople who find work through agencies in Australia often command an annual wage of €100,000, the equivalent of what GPs are earning here, says Dowling, with bricklayers earning even more - up to 200,000 dollars. This, coupled with a lower cost of living than in Ireland is enough of a reason for many to consider migrating.

The most popular cities to live and work in Australia are Brisbane, Perth and Darwin, says Dowling; Sydney tends to be avoided because of the high cost of living there.

The most popular tradespeople are

  • Electricians
  • Carpenters
  • Plumbers
  • Hairdressers

The most popular professionals are

  • Nurses
  • Teachers
  • Engineers
  • Accountants 

150,000 Australian visas are issued every year. You can click on the following link to check out if your occupation is on the MODL list. The application process takes approximately between four and six months. is hosting weekly talks in the Red Cow Hotel, every Wednesday at 7pm, covering everything you need to do to make your move: Visas, Jobs, Freight, Bank account, Tax file number, accommodation, mortgages etc. You can book a place by calling 01 878 3355.

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