21 January 2010

Irish Minister hails the success of working holiday agreement with Australia

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The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin has hailed the success of the working holiday agreement with Australia, as well as other countries, while speaking in Dublin.

Working Holiday

An Australian Working Holiday can see applicants working, like picking apples or other harvests, while travelling around the country for up to 24 months.

Minister Martin referred in particular to the huge success of the working holiday agreement with Australia, which allows Irish youth to live and work in Australia and vice versa.

The number of Australian working holiday visas has increased by 33 per cent to 22,786 in the year to the end of June 2009.

“It started with very small numbers and has grown over the years into a huge movement of young people between Ireland and Australia,” the Minister said.

The Australian Working Holiday Visa allows Irish nationals aged between 18 and 30 the opportunity to enjoy an extended stay in Australia for 12 months and to work to supplement their travels. There is also the opportunity to apply for a second working holiday visa, allowing another full year in Australia, for those who work as a specified worker in rural or regional Australia for three months.

“Working holiday agreements are a vital part of Ireland’s public diplomacy,” Minister Martin said.

“Many thousands of young Irish people have benefited greatly from the experience of working and living in foreign countries.  In turn, many young people have visited Ireland and have acquired a lifelong love of this country.  I am fully committed to these arrangements which are beneficial for the countries involved”.

“At the Global Irish Economic Forum, which took place at Farmleigh in September, participants strongly emphasised both the importance of deepening our engagement with younger members of our Irish communities abroad and the benefit of international work experience for both young Irish people individually and for Irish business more generally.

“The Working Holiday Agreements, many of which are with countries where there are significant numbers of young people of Irish descent, are a unique and valuable tool in facilitating such experiences,” Minister Martin said.

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