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We need to hold onto the people who can turn Ireland around

Let's stop the brain drain.

Written by David Hollywood and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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A sea change is occurring in Irish culture. Far from having the security and comfort that the Celtic tiger economy should have delivered, young people in this country will be charged with having to pull this country up by its boot straps. This will no doubt adversely affect an already unjust and unequal society.

As an aspiring journalist, and student, I’ve made my peace with financial struggle and a professionally bleak future. In a broader context however, those of us that have committed such a large portion of our most vital years to securing a qualification feel like we have been tremendously deceived.

The biggest problem this country now faces is how to prevent the bleeding of our brightest and best to other more attractive propositions, i.e. continents. There are thousands and thousands of wonderfully capable graduates in this country who are stuck in a hole. The minimum wage-paying camping store I work in is a case in point.

The girl that works in the stock room has two honours degrees in Engineering and another sales assistant has an English degree. They are just waiting until they can afford plane tickets. This situation is replicated across the entire country and it’s a tragedy.

These are worrying times, and the future isn’t secure, but I sincerely believe young people in this country can innovate and reform this island, and there are answers out there. Ideas and solutions are being proposed and tested. It is a fortunate coincidence that our greatest concern could very well be the solution to our country’s many problems.

Our clearly mandated Government has at their disposal, readymade, an exceptionally skilled workforce across a multitude of industries. It is their responsibility to create an environment in which those who are capable and qualified may practice their valuable skills on these shores.

It cannot be denied that the state has an obligation to those seeking to educate and further themselves. For many years, this country has done well in this regard.  But that support tends to wane, if not disappear, once a person has completed a course of education.

The Department of Education and Skills could pool a small percentage of its resources with that of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, with a view to creating a programme that assists recent graduates in gaining an entry level position within their chosen profession. This could stop what is known as the 'brain drain effect' and that would enable us to hold onto the people who can turn Ireland around.

This is just one idea, and there are many better more far-reaching ones. It is time for our generation to stand up and shape our own future. It will be the making of this country. 

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Published March 12th, 2013
Last updated May 30th, 2014
Tags jobs work emigration
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