Ireland launches information campaign for migrant workers from Czech Republic

Ireland, together with the United Kingdom and Sweden opened its labour market to citizens from the 10 new EU members in 2004. Since then, according to Ireland's statistics, some 10,000 Czechs have used the opportunity and come to work in Ireland. Drawing from two years of experience, the Irish Government's Training & Employment Authority has now launched what they term the "Know Before You Go" campaign in the Czech Republic.

A DVD in Czech, with English subtitles, as well as leaflets, booklets and posters which will be available through public employment offices, are meant to prepare job seekers for employment in Ireland. They explain various legal things you need to know before you arrive - everything from opening bank accounts to taxes and accommodation.

Donal Sands, who is Assistant Director General of the Irish Training & Employment Authority, has come to Prague to launch the campaign. He says it was not motivated by problems with migrant workers, but quite the opposite.

"No difficulties. I think the reason we are launching this campaign is that we have a greater appetite for more people who might be interested in working with our fellow workers from other European member states. They have made a huge contribution to Irish life and they have brought in a whole multi-ethnic culture which I think we've all benefited from."

The Czech Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is cooperating with the Irish authority in distributing the materials around the country. Deputy minister Eva Smejkalova.

"Currently, there are around 10,000 Czechs working in Ireland and some 15,000 Czechs in the United Kingdom. The figures may seem small but that's only until we get used to travelling in order to find work. Young people find no difficulty in it, they are quite spontaneously joining the labour markets in English speaking countries. It is more of a problem with older people who are more conservative. Looking for jobs only in the area they live in is an obstacle to their personal growth. I believe it will be our task to change that in the future."