In the not so distant past it was normal practice for Ireland’s youth to travel to the UK or America for University. The lure of greater subject choice and a few years away from home proved too much for most eighteen-year olds. The resulting exodus became known as “The Brain Drain.” Ireland’s top talent lost for many years to British and American enterprise.
Now however, an unexpected impact of BREXIT is the return to Ireland of many of it’s citizens who have spent decades living and working abroad. Many large and prosperous companies operating in Ireland have launched programs to tempt Irish born professionals to come home for good. Recruitment firms are also offering support and guidance for Irish nationals returning home to take up opportunities in Ireland.
BREXIT has caused a reversal in the balance of job opportunities between the UK and Ireland. For the first time in memory I think it’s fair to say there are now more opportunities in Dublin than London for many professions.
This recent increase in job opportunities in Ireland, many of which are BREXIT related has turned the well-trodden path of Irish people going to the UK to work on it’s head. We are now seeing an influx of British born professionals applying directly for positions in Dublin or relocating to the Dublin branch of their current employer.
This sizable population shift is not without its challenges. Dublin’s infrastructure is close to breaking point. Irish families returning home are struggling alongside their British, European and American counterparts to secure places in the top schools for their children. Competition for family accommodation has resulted in a significant increase in rents for homes in good locations. This level of difficulty on the key aspects of an international move can result in a very stressful relocation and a bad start to what was supposed to be a glorious homecoming!
Having relocated myself in 2015, relatively early in the recent flow of immigration we learnt the hard way how to overcome some of the pitfalls and information gaps.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be relocating with the benefit of a fully funded professional relocation package. If you are organising your relocation yourself, the following top tips should ease some of the pain.
- Talk to everyone and anyone with experience of the schools you think may be a good fit for your children. Local knowledge is key to making sure the fit is right. In general, the Irish education system is excellent however, each school has its own ethos and character created by the unique mix of religion, sport and student demographics.
- Put your children’s names on the waiting lists as soon as you think you might be moving. Certainly, well before you even set foot on Irish soil. This will significantly increase your chances of getting an offer from the school you want. Insist! Even if the Registrar says there is no chance of a place becoming available. Waiting lists have the tendency to evaporate, especially as the start of term approaches.
- Have a plan B. Competition is fierce, you may not get your first choice.
- Be prepared to move; While you may not get your first choice on day 1, if you’re sure it’s the best option for your child ask to remain on the waiting list and follow up regularly. Places do come up!
- Register on www.daft.ie and www.myhome.ie websites and set up e-mail alerts for new properties matching your requirements.
- Be realistic about your requirements, rank your “must haves” in order and be prepared to compromise on everything else.
- Contact Estate Agents that have the most property in the areas you are interested in and register your requirements. Call them regularly for updates so they know you’re serious. The only way to secure superior quality accommodation is to be persistent, committed and willing to view alternatives.
The tasks of finding the “best fit” schools for your children and securing accommodation for your family should not be tackled independently. It’s a juggling act! It’s crucially important that the combined package work together. There is no point in securing an amazing property with views over Dublin Bay that is miles from your chosen school and transport links. This will only result in hours sitting in traffic on the school run and miserable children.
Consider employing a local relocation agent. We found the key ingredient missing from our independent research was Local knowledge, what are the pros and cons of each school, what reputation does the school have, what do the parent’s say? If you have a relocation agent worth his/ her salt they will be able to give you an insight.
The same principal holds when deciding which area to live in. Local knowledge is key. There are good reasons why property on the coast, near a DART station is more expensive. A good Relocation Agent will be able to tell you why an area is popular and where to find the best local amenities. There may be alternatives in neighbouring areas that meet more of your requirements but come without the hefty price tag. They will also have established relationships with the Estate Agents and will get notice of the best properties before they are released to the general market.
Overall the quality of life in Ireland is high. Time saved from the daily London commute can be better spent with family, friends or exploring the nearby mountains and beaches. Most importantly, the Irish have spared their children the intensive “hot housing” common in the UK especially around London. Children are allowed time to be just that ……… children.
Written by: Lesley Light, Local Line – A Bespoke Relocation Advice Service.
As a result of lessons learned from our own relocation experience I launched a Relocation Advice Service called Local Line. Local line aims to provide a completely bespoke service based on personal experience and local knowledge. I am always happy to talk to anyone who needs help with school places, accommodation or settling in.