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Graduates relay their struggle to find employment in Irish market

Three graduates relay their struggle in the competitive Irish job market. 

The Limerick Virtual Job Fair took place on Monday, November 27, with dozens of local and international companies advertising positions to students and job seekers. 

Despite hundreds of positions seemingly available, graduates are struggling to find employment in Ireland. 

Organized by DiversityX, the fair promoted online job applications, where employers can gain a more direct insight into applicants and avoid the inefficiencies of irrelevant resume submissions.

Ayberk Yavuz is Turkish national who has completed a Master’s degree in structural engineering and the prestigious Bucharest Technical Construction University. 

Graduating among the top five in his class, Ayberk has been struggling to source employment in Ireland. 

He began his job search just over four months ago without any success despite his high qualification level. 

Despite “very nice websites for each company” and “smooth processes” for job applications, he found that there were “so many personal questions during the [CV] uploading process.”

“I felt racism during the process,” he said, with prospective employers asking him his religion, ethnicity and “these kind of questions.”

His job applications to date have been unsuccessful. 

“Of course, all rejection due to my nationality,” he alleged.

Jenny Zhen is an international youth living in Limerick city who relayed her experience searching for employment in Limerick. 

The University of Limerick business graduate has been searching for employment in Limerick for the past two months.

“For someone like me, being a foreigner, if I see recruiters with the same skin color as mine or from the same country, I would prioritize considering that company.

“It makes me feel the company is inclusive,” she said. 

Steven is a software engineering graduate who has been struggling to source employment. 

He said “competition is much fiercer this year” in the job market. 

“Finding quality, steady, long-term work necessitates competing with a large number of other job searchers.

“To be honest, I no longer care about working in a position closely connected to my major; I just want to get a job before Christmas.”

A spokesperson for Limerick Chamber told Limerick Voice: “Today is a great day for our region! Here at Limerick Chamber, we’re genuinely excited to hear about Vitalograph’s expansion in Limerick and Clare, bringing an impressive 60 new jobs. It’s not just about the numbers; it’s about what this means for our community.

“MedTech is more than an industry here – it’s part of our identity and our future. Vitalograph’s decision to grow here reaffirms our belief in the Midwest as a thriving hub for innovation and talent. We’re not just welcoming new job opportunities; we’re celebrating the continued vibrancy and prosperity they bring to our neighbourhoods.”

The Irish unemployment rate in October 2023 was 4.8 per cent which rose from 4.5 per cent in October 2022. As economic uncertainty has grown, corporations have embraced more adaptable methods to market shifts. As a result, firms may increasingly rely on temporary talent, such as contract workers or freelancers, with pay scales that vary according to demand.

The fair also revealed a noticeable shift in job preferences. Job seekers’ primary demand is for competitive salaries, followed by a balance between work and life and flexible work arrangements.

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