New agreement opens up Canada to Irish youngsters

Young people from Canada and Ireland will have more opportunities to work and travel in each country thanks to the signing of an amendment to the youth mobility agreement enjoyed between the two countries.

An amendment, signed yesterday, will expand on the existing agreement on youth mobility beyond the ever-popular Working Holiday category. Two new categories have been added to better meet the needs of participants and prospective employers and the total number of spots available is rising to 10,700 for 2014, a significant increase from the 6,350 spaces available in 2013.

Known in Canada as International Experience Canada (IEC), the youth mobility programme provides opportunities for Irish citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada for up to 24 months. In exchange, young Canadians can travel and work in Ireland. Young participants benefit from these opportunities by gaining a better understanding of the other country’s culture and society through their work and life experiences abroad.

Canadian Education “Our government values the strong relationship between Ireland and Canada, which is based on our history, our people-to-people connections and our shared values,” explained Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister. “This expanded agreement will strengthen the ties between our two countries, provide young Irish and Canadians the opportunity to live abroad, and foster life-long relationships that may translate into expanded economic opportunity.”

Two employer-specific categories have also been added as options for young people from both countries. Young people with a pre-arranged contract of employment in support of their career development now have the option of applying to the Young Professionals category. Full-time students who have arranged a work placement or internship as part of their academic curriculum will now be able to apply to the International Co-op category.